Mumbai-based AS JustRide Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd, which operates peer-to-peer car and bike rental platform Drivezy, has mobilised $10 million (Rs 65 crore) in a fresh round of funding.
The investors who participated in this round include Das Capital, Axan Ventures, CrowdWorks and IT-Farm, the startup said in a statement.
The company will use a major part of this funding to create rental coins, its own private currency, and announced the launch of its private Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
The company, earlier known as JustRide, already accepts bitcoins as a mode of payment and has partnered with bitcoin startup Unocoin for this purpose.
“With the growing popularity of bitcoins in India, we feel that this is the right time to open alternative means in the sharing economy. This ICO is part of our vision to leverage the power of the blockchain to build an open, secure and transparent technology to globalize the Indian car sharing marketplace,” said Singh.
The new round of funding takes the total amount raised by the company till date to $16 million. The company had raised $3 million in November last year in a bridge round of funding from Y Combinator partners and a number of global investors that included Justin Kan, co-founder of Jutin.tv and Twitch.tv; Qasar Younis, COO, Y Combinator; Paul Buccheit, creator of Gmail; Susa Ventures, Kima Ventures, Axan Ventures, SCM Holdings and IT-Farm.
Drivezy was founded in April 2015 by Singh, Hemant Sah, Vasant Verma, Abhishek Mahajan and Amit Sahu, all alumni of IIT-Bombay and NIT Allahabad.
The platform allows individual car owners to list their idle cars on the company’s platform, which are then rented by customers. The company claims it has onboarded over 800 owners and has 1,318 vehicles listed on its platform.
The company operates in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Mysore. It claims to have a monthly gross merchandise value of $950,000 a month and 246% growth in unique customers over the last year.
The self-driving vehicle rental segment has a few other funded players. Bangalore-based Zoomcar is the most-funded venture in this segment, having raised close to $45 million. Last year, it mopped up $24 million from the likes of Ford
Smart Mobility LLC, Chinese venture capital firm Cyber Carrier CL as well as existing investors Sequoia Capital, Empire Angels, OurCrowd and Nokia Growth Partners.
In December last year, Delhi-based Revv, a shared mobility solutions platform run by PrimeMover Technologies Pvt. Ltd, secured $9 million in debt and equity funding from Edelweiss Private Equity, Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services and car leasing partner LeasePlan India.
Also last year, Voler Car Pvt. Ltd, which operates self-drive car rental service Voler Cars, raised an undisclosed amount in funding led by the family office of Kanodias and former UTV and Unilazer executive Amit Banka.