With 700 customers, self-drive car rental marketplace JustRide secures $1M funding from Alok Mittal and other angels


Self-drive car rental marketplace JustRide has raised seed funding round led by IAN Co-founder Alok Mittal, Niraj Singh, Nikunj Jain, Zishaan Hayath, Punit K Goyal, Anirudh Damani, Rohit Chokhan, and Palaash Venture. The amount invested remains undisclosed, but according to YourStory’s sources, it's in the range of $800K to a million USD.

The company will use proceedings towards building technology excellence, hiring, and spreading footprints to more cities.

The brainchild of IIT Bombay and NIT Allahabad alumni -- Ashwarya Pratap Singh, Hemant Sah, Abhishek Mahajan, Vasant Verma, and Amit Sahu -- JustRide is a technology aggregator in the car rental industry with the prime products being mirco and macro leasing of vehicles.

Unlike existing market players, JustRide is not the proprietor of the vehicles it rents. The company leases vehicles from individual vendors by providing them a minimum guarantee value. JustRide’s economic model complements the existing ecosystem, guaranteeing fixed return to all stakeholders. Speaking about the differentiator of the startup, Ashwarya said,

We have built a Smart Vehicle Technology (SVT) which taps into a vehicle’s electronic system and provides a real time access to the location and performance parameters of the vehicle, ranging from tyre pressure to the current load on the engine and the G force experienced on each of the individual suspensions.

The company is currently conducting a massive test of its in-house SVT in Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, and Gurgaon. Since April this year, JustRide has gained 700 customers and generated over 1200 transactions. Ashwarya added,

The pick and drop facility has struck a chord with customers with roughly 30% of the total customers demanding the vehicle to be delivered to their home or place of work.
JustRide's customer

Competition and market opportunity

According to Ken Research, the Indian car rental market revenues will grow at a considerable CAGR rate and is expected to touch INR 800 billion by 2019. The growth is largely driven by increasing penetration of Internet and mobile apps.

JustRide competes with Sequoia-funded Zoomcar, Carzonrent, and Revv among a host of unorganized car rental operators. Interestingly, all the aforementioned startups had secured funding. While Zoomcar snapped up $11 million last month, Carzonrent raised INR 80 crore from Sidbi Venture Capital, WestBridge Capital, and others.

Revv had raised a seed round last week from newly-hired CEO of Myntra, more than 10 directors and partners from McKinsey and others.

YourStory’s take

Shared economy is on the rise in all the sectors in India. Right from cabs (carpooling & renting) to apparels, and furniture are available on rent. Over the past one year, the space witnessed debuts of startups like WheelstreetRentomojo, Zoomcar, Etashee, SmartMumbaikar, among others.

Zoomcar and Carzonrent are key players in the self-drive car rental space, however, JustRide seems to have a technological edge (with SVT) over competitors. Unlike Carzonrent and Zoomcar, JustRide doesn’t own vehicles, hence it doesn’t require deep pocket like heavily funded peers for running operations.

Sharing economy in India is catching up with decent pace and in the future we will see more entrepreneurs evangelizing sharing economy space. Apparels, furniture, self-drive car and bikes are an interesting niche in overall space to watch out for.