Rapido, an online bike taxi aggregator, said it has seen a sharp increase in demand since the relaxation of localized lockdowns in numerous areas, and the company has reached pre-covid high in recent weeks. Rapido expects to more than triple the number of transacting users on its network in the next 18 months as additional offices, schools, and colleges open across the country.
“There are multiple instances these days of cab drivers and auto-rickshaws refusing customers,” said Arvind Sanka, cofounder at Rapido. “This has been driving up adoption of bike taxis.”
The company just received $52 million in capital and intends to use the funds to expand its operations. Rapido currently operates bike taxis in 100 cities and auto-rickshaws in 26 cities. Rapido processes 10 million orders each month across both categories, including 150,000-160,000 bikes and 70,000 automobiles on its site. Rapido is also working with the government to electrify its fleet in Delhi and Bengaluru, with the goal of electrifying a fourth of its two-wheeler fleet by the end of next year.
“Not everyone will move to an electric vehicle immediately – they (bike taxi operators) will look at various aspects including the availability of financing solutions, charging infrastructure, and resale value while making a decision,” Sanka said. “The total cost of ownership has to make sense. We are working with intermediate companies which will help our captains move to an electric two-wheeler via rent or lease. We will function as demand generators.”
Shell Ventures, Yamaha, Cred founder Kunal Shah, Spotify India CEO Amarjit Singh Batra, and Positive Moves Consulting were among the new investors in the company’s latest round of fundraising, which equaled $52 million. Existing investors Pawan Munjal, chairman and managing director of Hero Group, Westbridge, Nexus Venture, and Everblue Management also contributed to the round.