Online taxi aggregation space in India has been hot for venture capitalists for a couple of years. Showing faith in the space, Bessemer Venture Partners has led the $10 million series B round in Taxiforsure (TFC). The round was also participated by existing investors — Accel Partners, Helion Venture Partners and Blume Ventures.
Taxiforsure will use this fund to foray into 15 new cities (mostly in tier II and III cities). Speaking about the investment, Raghunandan G, C and Co-founder of Taxiforsure, said, “We are excited to partner with Bessemer Venture Partners which is known to back companies characterised by high growth.”
The Bangalore-based company had turned profitable in Bangalore and forayed in Delhi (NCR) and Chennai last year. “We feel the time is right to gun for the next phase of expansion,” adds Raghunandan.
The fresh capital for Taxiforsure comes less than a year after the company raised its first round of funds. Earlier, it had raised two rounds of undisclosed amount (approximately $5 million) from Accel Partners, Helion Venture Partners and Blume Ventures.
Founded in 2011 by IIM-A alumni, Aprameya Radhakrishna and Raghunandan, Taxiforsure has grown at a rate of 25-30% on a monthly basis and recently clocked one million transactions.
At present, the company has a fleet of nearly 4000 taxis in Bangalore, NCR and Chennai. The company will start operations in Hyderabad this month and follow it up with Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Kolkata, Indore and Bhopal among others.
Speaking about the investment, Subramanya S.V, MD of Bessemer Venture Partners India, said, “We are pleased to partner with Taxiforsure which shows early signs of emerging as category leaders in the taxi-aggregation space in India. The company has proved its business model in a very short time and is ready to scale. We see a huge opportunity in the space TFS operates in and the leadership team at Taxiforsure has proved that they can capitalise on the opportunities with speed and accuracy.”
Taxiforsure allows users to book a cab via Twitter too besides the usual mode of calling its phone lines. In an earlier interaction with YourStory, Raghunandan emphasized the significant growth potential in ‘real Bharat’ (tier ll and lll cities like Raipur, Nagpur and Ranchi).
The disposable income is increasing in these cities and many premium services and hotels are being established, indicating a need for such services. The growth of corporate entities and construction of new airports will only fuel the demand in smaller cities. Public transport is not able to grow at the rate at which the cities are growing.
With the new cash infusion, Taxiforsure will be in a better position to compete with Tiger Global-funded Olacabs. Olacabs had forayed into three new cities over the past six months and has also launched Olamini — starting at Rs.13 per km — to pose a tough fight to its competitors and autowallas.