Mumbai-based on-demand driver service Zuver.in has raised 1.2 crores in early-stage funding from Bengaluru-based Shruth & Smith Group and Mumbai-based Hermes Group. The funding will be used to kickstart their operations, with a goal to scale up.
Co-founded by Sidhanth Mally and Sovin Hegde, Zuver app gives customers the flexibility to book a driver in advance and in real time for an hour or a whole day. Having a location-based platform, the technology powers Zuver to locate the customer and dispatch the closest driver, within 40 minutes of booking.
Speaking about the reason for starting up, Sovin, Co-founder of Zuver, says
The concept of a driver on demand is underserved. We thought of getting an integrated app that would let customers book, track and pay for premium driver services. Moreover, we were careful to offer not just any driver, but a sophisticated, well-spoken and mannered one at your doorstep. Being a novel concept, we definitely wanted to empower this segment with technology.
The app is available on Android and iOS. The platform has close to 60 drivers, with plans to scale up the numbers to 150 by the end of May. The firm is also looking to close their pre-Series A funding in the next few months to increase their footprint to metros including Pune and Bengaluru.
“We ensure that our drivers have gone through multiple screening processes and tests before they become Zuver drivers. Currently, our focus is to ensure that Zuver is launched and functioning immaculately,” says Co-founder Sidhanth.
Car ownership in India all set to grow by 6x in the years to come. India stands at 160th globally, with 18 cars per 1,000 people. This number is all set to grow to 35 (for 1000 people) by 2025.
At this point in time, driver-on-demand platforms are still trying to be category creators, helping form customer habits. Also, infrastructure not growing at the same pace as car ownership is making people look at alternate options like car pool, etc. With rising traffic, the market seems to be opportune for driver aggregators, especially when customers plan to be more productive while heading back home or to work.
Just yesterday, Bengaluru-based DriveU raised seed funding from Unitus Seed Fund, offering services across four cities of Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, and Delhi. Being a bigger player than Zuver, the DriveU platform has completed over 15,000 trips serving more than 6,000 customers, as of January 2016.
DriveBud is another player providing similar solutions, claiming to have a turn-around time of less than 30 minutes. Other players like Driven, Taskbob, Housejoy and Driverskart are also emerging in this space Further, to give a metric, cities like Bengaluru have more than 1.5 million private cars with 30 per cent of car owners seeking to hire drivers.
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