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Swiggy leads $180 mn round in bike taxi startup Rapido

By Anuj Suvarna

  • 15 Apr 2022
Credit: Shah Junaid/VCCircle

Roppen Transportation Services Pvt Ltd, which operates bike taxi app Rapido, has secured $180 million in Series D funding round led by food delivery platform Swiggy.   

The round also saw participation from TVS Motors who came in as a new investor, with existing backers WestBridge Capital, Nexus Ventures, Shell Ventures.

Rapido has raised $124.6 million from Swiggy in exchange for 1,99,948 Series D CCPS and 10 equity shares, according to filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC), while TVS Motors has contributed $15 million.    

Nexus Ventures invested the remaining money, with WestBridge Capital investing $30 million. Swiggy presently owns 1,99,958 shares in Rapido, which includes both stock and preference shares, as per VCCircle analysis based on the regulatory filings. This transaction now values Rapido at $830 million, a person familiar with the deal said.

Rapido plans to use the funds to bolster its technology, strengthen teams across diverse sets of capabilities and increase overall supply to create an enhanced consumer experience across the audience base in metros, tier 1, 2 and 3 cities.  

The platform also aims to invest the newly raised capital in all its categories - bike taxi, auto and delivery. 

“We look forward to learning from Swiggy’s experience to scale up throughout the country and enhance our customers’ experience, who are the backbone of our business.  

Besides, TVS Motor, who are very passionate about EVs and the future of mobility, will help us in further expansion. We hope to accelerate our pace of becoming a household name as we increase our geographies and services, on the backbone of our robust, global-standard technology,” said Aravind Sanka, Co-Founder, Rapido.    

“While we’ve already been working together, this investment facilitates closer alignment to leverage the synergies between the platforms and improve the value we provide to both consumers and delivery executives across the country,” said Sriharsha Majety, Co-Founder and CEO of Swiggy.

This announcement comes on the back of the company raising $52 million in its Series C funding which saw participation from Shell Ventures, Yamaha India, Cred founder Kunal Shah, Spotify India’s CEO Amarjit Singh Batra and Positive Moves Consulting.       

 Founded by Aravind Sanka, Rishikesh SR and Pavan Guntupalli in 2015, the company began to expand beyond its bike taxi service offering to include auto-rickshaws in several cities.

The platform’s app offers services in multiple languages, such as Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English. It is currently present in over 100 cities across the country claiming to have over 15 million customers and more than 1.5 million captains (driver-partners). In March 202, the company partnered with e-mobility startup Zypp to include electric scooters in its fleet.      

Rapido’s total income stood at Rs 87.9 crore in the fiscal year 2021, from Rs 56.9 crore in FY20, a 54% jump. 

It reduced its expenses to Rs 254 crore in FY21 from Rs 301 crore in FY20. The losses were narrowed to Rs 166.3 crore in FY21 from Rs 244 crore in FY20, as per the filings.       

The mobility space has seen a revival in investor interest post-Covid-19 pandemic disruption. 

In October 2021 public transport-tech company Chalo raised $40 million (Rs 296 crore) in its Series C funding led by Lightrock India and Filter Capital. 

The company has also acquired scooter rental startup Vogo, six months after it had bought bus aggregator Shuttl’s business for an undisclosed sum in October. 

Cab ride-hailing aggregator Ola has also recently raised Rs 150 crore in its ongoing Series J round from Axis Growth Avenues AIF and Arrow Multi-Asset Fund.  

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