Rapido Bikes, a bike taxi service provider, is in final stages to raise $50 million (approx ₹350 crore) funding round led by WestBridge Capital, according to media reports. The round if goes through could value the company at $150 million-$200 million in all.
The development has come days after Karnataka transport department ordered Ola and Rapido to stop its bike taxi services immediately. However, the Karnataka High Court was hearing a petition filed by Bengaluru-based cab aggregator Ola against the Karnakata transport department for not providing the company with a licence to operate bike taxis in the state. The decision is still pending in the court.
Founded by Rishikesh SR, Pavan Guntupalli and Aravind Sanka in October 2015, the Bengaluru-based Rapido, currently has 10,000 active drivers including women.
Anyone with a two-wheeler license, a bike, a vehicle registration certificate, and bike insurance can register themselves as a Rapido Captain. Available on Android and iOS, the app can be accessed in multiple languages like Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and English.
Whereas, WestBridge was co-founded by KP Balaraj, Sumir Chadha, SK Jain and Sandeep Singhal in 2011. It is a highly experienced investment firm, managing over $2 billion of capital, which focuses on investments in India.
The company seeks to partner with some of India’s most promising mid-sized companies run by outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams for the long-term, whether they are public or private.
Moreover, according to the research firm Statista, around 20 million two-wheelers were sold to domestic customers in 2017-18. This indicates a healthy opportunity for bike taxi services in the Indian market.
Rapido competes with the likes of UberMOTO by Uber India, and Ola backed Vogo. Plus GoJek also revealed its plans earlier to enter into the Indian market.