Bengaluru-based bike taxi startup Rapido has raised USD 52 million in a Series C round led by its existing backer WestBridge Capital, with participation from new investors including Shell Ventures, Yamaha, Cred’s founder Kunal Shah, Spotify India CEO Amarjit Singh Batra, and Positive Moves Consulting.
Citing sources, local media Economic Times (ET) said WestBridge Capital has put in about USD 30–35 million in this round, valuing the company at USD 235 million.
Rapido said it will utilize the capital to invest in technology, ramp up its team, and add more vehicles to its fleet.
“Even though our product and business model are lucrative and have the potential to churn out an exceptional revenue, this fundraising indicates more of the investors’ confidence in us than the need for capital,” Sanka, co-founder of Rapido, said in a statement.
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The funding round comes less than a month after the Karnataka High Court said that electric bikes could be used as taxis for hire by passengers.
The six-year-old bike taxi startup ran into regulatory issues in the South Indian state of Karnataka in 2019, when the local transport department raised legal issues around the usage of two-wheelers for commercial taxis. In 2019, it sent notices to Ola and Rapido to stop their services immediately.
With the high court giving relief to bike taxi companies in the state, Rapido said it has applied with the authorities to get permission to restart its operations.
Last year, as shared mobility took a hit due to the pandemic, Rapido resorted to delivering groceries, food, and medicines. Currently, it works with food and grocery delivery companies like Zomato, Swiggy, BigBasket, JioMart, and DotPe to facilitate their deliveries. About 60% of its revenue comes from bike taxi operations, which are active in other states, Sanka told ET. Rapido claims to be the largest bike taxi player in the country, operating in around 100 cities.
“From 15 million users in the last two years, we now plan to increase that number to 50 million in the next 18 months and continue providing affordable transportation for the masses,” Sanka said.