Baxi, the bike ride-hailing app, has raised Rs 10 crore in funding from a number of high-profile investors, making this one of the largest seed rounds raised by an Indian startup, still in stealth mode. The investors included high net worth individuals-Manish Kheterpal, managing partner of private equity firm WaterBridge Ventures, Alok Mittal, former India head of venture capital firm Canaan Partners and founder of technology startup Indifi Technologies, and Puneet Dalmia, managing director of cement major Dalmia Bharat Group.
Kheterpal has said in a statement:
“There is a huge market opportunity, just in last-mile transportation. The value proposition, compared to existing alternatives, is amazing. The (Baxi) strategy includes full access in every city they launch, with a five-minute access,”
This seed round funding is among the largest raised by a startup, which is yet to formally launch its services. The startup, will go live on Tuesday and provide two-wheeler taxi services in Gurgaon. It will also be introducing its service in Faridabad, Sonepat and Bahadurgarh.
The startup was founded at the start of 2015 itself by Ashutosh Johri and Manu Rana, of IIT Delhi. Prior to Baxi,
Johri led IT services firm Mara-Ison Technologies, while Rana served as chief product officer at IgniteWorld.
Johri said in a statement:
“We raised a big round because we’re looking to consolidate our position right from the outset. In such instances, one can’t afford to start small,”
The startup will launch its services with 23 bikes, but plans to ramp up its fleet to 150 by January 2016, it will operate under the Motor Vehicles Act. The government has amended the contract carriage rules, allowing the startup to ply two-wheeler as commercial carriage vehicles, and thereby charging fees. On this Johri said:
“There were no rules for two-wheelers under the Motor Vehicles Act, and therefore, we had to get it modified,”
Baxi will also be providing loan processing and insurance for its riders. Passengers, too, will be covered under its insurance plans. The app also has built-in safety features, relating to tracking of riders and speed.
The Baxi model is similar to GrabBike, the motorcycle taxi service launched by GrabTaxi, the Southeast Asia-based taxi-hailing app, which is also competing with global leader Uber.