Launched two years ago in Bangalore, India, MyPetroPump, the country’s first on-demand door-to-door fuel delivery service, has just raised USD 1.6 million in a seed round financing. Investors participating in this round are Venture Highway Capital and Y Combinator among others.
The company was started with the objective of supplying diesel to refuel generators of schools, hospitals, resident complexes, and corporates when it receives orders from them. Simultaneously it wants to tackle the eco-system factors of fuel theft, spillage and fuel adulteration.
A customer can order the fuel through MyPetrolPump app, website, or by making a direct call to the firm. The minimum requirement for an order is 20 liters and the price of diesel per liter for the day is taken into account for the costing. The company designates specialized mini refueller tank trucks that can get to all kinds of areas through GPS technology to reach the customers.
Currently, it has five refueling vehicles in its fleet and aims to get 20-30 vehicles manufactured in the short-term. If the current growth is to be sustained it will need 100s of vehicles in due course. Hurdles faced by on-demand fuel delivery businesses are regulatory norms and a funding crunch.
At present, the company’s services are restricted to Bangalore where it has already delivered more than 3 million liters of fuel since it became operational. It has a network of more than 2000 B2B customers including the likes of hotel chains like OYO Rooms, Lemontree, Treebo, and Hilton. By ordering through its app, customers can lessen machinery downtime and weed out the risks associated with storing, handling and tracking fuel supplies on-site.
Prior to the seed fund, MyPetrolPump founder Ashish Gupta’s—who worked for oil major Royal Dutch Shell across several countries over the years—promising idea received the endorsement it needed when the firm was awarded USD 10,000 for winning the Wharton India Startup Challenge. The idea of on-demand fuel delivery also resonated with the Government of Karnataka, Southern India who presented him with a substantial cash purse at Elevate 100, the government’s scheme to identify and nurture innovative start-ups.
The startup identified the opportunity in this space because according to recent estimates India requires around 85 billion liters of fuel yearly, and there are just not that many petrol bunks in the country to meet the demand. The vision of the company for the long-term is to get into the delivery of compressed natural gas or even batteries for electric vehicles. It wants to be the complete platform for the delivery of fuel items.
Enticed by the potential of online fuel delivery, Indian multinational conglomerate Reliance Industries (RIL), and the Indian government’s national-level oil marketing companies (OMCs) such as Indian Oil, BPCL, and HPCL, are also mulling on starting on-demand fuel delivery services.