Rapido raises fresh funds from new investors
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Hyderabad-registered Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd, which runs bike pooling and taxi startup Rapido, has raised Rs 2.14 crore ($329,230) in a fresh round of funding from US-based Skycatcher Fund and UK-based Thompson Taraz Managers, Aravind Sanka, co-founder at Rapido told VCCircle.

The startup will use the funds primarily to expand into other cities and build its team, Sanka added.

VCCircle had reported that between June and July this year, Rapido raised Rs 2.75 crore ($422,000) in a round led by US-based Battery Road Digital Holdings LLC. Existing investor Astarc Ventures and an undisclosed Indian technology fund also participated in the round.

In June this year, VCCircle also reported that the bike taxi startup was in advanced stages of talks to raise $3 million from new and existing investors. It is not clear whether the current fundraise is part of the larger funding round reported in June.

In September, the company was in advanced stages of completing a deal to acquire Hyderabad-based motorcycle-sharing startup Getbike.

For the financial year ended 31 March 2016, Rapido’s revenue from operations grew 20 times to Rs 1.23 crore from Rs 6 lakh in the previous financial year. The company is still in red with its losses widening from Rs 6,135 in 2014-15 to Rs 1.28 crore in 2015-16, as expenditure grew to Rs 2.5 crore from Rs 6.07 lakh in the previous financial year.

Rapido operates in Bangalore, Delhi and now in Hyderabad.

The firm was founded by IIT alumni Sanka, Rishikesh SR and Pavan Guntupalli in November 2015. Google India managing director Rajan Anandan and Hero MotoCorp chairman Pawan Munjal have invested in the startup.

Rapido’s competitor Baxi, incorporated as 74 BC Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was also raising funds, its co-founder Ashutosh Johri told VCCircle in June. “We are making a profit on every transaction now. We are raising funds for scaling up the network,” he said. Baxi had previously raised $1.4 million in seed funding in November 2015. The startup operates its services in parts of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Cab aggregator Ola, which also operates a bike-sharing service, had scouted for buyouts in the bike taxi segment but it did not work out. Uber, too, had plans to beef up its bike taxi service UberMOTO. Paytm-backed three-wheeler aggregator Jugnoo also has plans to enter the segment. According to industry insiders, hyperlocal delivery startup Runnr, which was recently acquired by Zomato, also briefly flirted with the idea of launching a bike taxi service.

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