While China’s bicycle rentals on-demand startup, Ofo is gearing to enter India early next year, its Indian counterpart self-drive car and bike rental firm Drivezy has decided to get ready for the challenge by raising a whooping Rs 65 crore ($10 million) in a part-equity and part-debt round.
Formerly called JustRide, an equity investment totalling $5 million was made by American and Japanese investors, which included Axan Partners, Das Capital and IT Farm, while a consortium of banks and NBFCs including Mahindra Finance, ICICI Bank, Cholamandalam Finance and Shriram Finance have gone for a $5 million investment in debt in Drivezy.
Transportation is considered as backbone of any modern economy. However, rapid motorisation effectuates its own set of issues. While on one hand the burgeoning number of vehicles on road has become a menace in metros across India, a number of cities suffer from lack of good urban commuting solutions. The concept of car rentals may be simple, but it holds immense potential. Be it the positive impact of rental vehicles on the environment or reducing the number of vehicles out on the streets, the shared economy of self drive car rentals can be considered as a promising solution to a number of problems plaguing the urban India right now.
The startup will use the money raised to enter new markets across India and abroad, revealed Ashwarya Singh, CEO and co-founder, Drivezy in a statement. It will also use a part of the capital raised to create rental coins, its own private currency. Drivezy recently announced the launch of its private Initial Coin Offering (ICO). It has partnered with Japanese payment firm Anypay for the same. The startup plans on introducing bitcoin as a payment option as it believes by developing initiatives around it will allow for global ownership of its fleet.
“We have started accepting cryptocurrency such as bitcoin for transactions on our platform. We have seen 150-160 transactions through that mode so far,“ said CEO Ashwarya Singh in a statement to Economic Times.
Drivezy, which is currently claiming to earning an impressive Rs 1.3 crore in monthly revenues, is focused on scaling its fleet by more than six times to 8,000 divided 50-50 between cars and bikes. The company is focused on turning profitable by March next year.