While Ola and Uber are battling it out in the intra-city transport space, intercity taxi service provider Wiwigo has raised Rs 4 crore in funding from Indian Angel Network (IAN) and two high networth individuals (HNIs).
IAN investors Priyank Shankar Garg and Harsh Chitale have led the funding round, with Garg joining the board and also mentoring the team.
Wiwigo’s services are currently available in 40+ cities, including Delhi, Bengaluru and Pune. The raised funds will be used for expansion across more than 100 cities.
Founded in April 2015, Wiwigo is an online platform for intercity travel by cab and claims to help passengers by saving almost 45 percent on current fares. With presence in over 40 cities, Wiwigo offers round-trips and multi-city travel options.
Intercity car rental in India is approximately a $9-billion market, growing at 12 percent CAGR. Around 90 percent of this market is unorganised and highly fragmented.
As per Ministry of Transport figures, the estimated interstate passenger taxi revenue was around $3.5 billion in 2012. The company estimates that one-way taxi target market is roughly around $550 million.
The market is currently witnessing several hurdles, especially since cab drivers offer one way rides on round trip fare, as they are not assured of a return booking. This increases the charge for the customers, who essentially pay twice the amount. Wiwigo aims to do away with this by offering competitive prices.
Right from customer booking to vendor bidding and driver selection, car confirmation, car tracking, journey alerts and customer feedback, the entire process is managed with automated workflows. These actions are monitored and managed by Wiwigo team through operations admin panel.
“With the growing number of drivers and vehicles, we shall be able to introduce 'Power Smart Pricing' for customers in near future. This would enable further saving of 20 percent for the customers. Our proposition is unique, and our vision clear. The support from IAN has been great as the leads not only mentored us but also gave us industry insights and tactics to curb the prevailing issues,” said Sunil Chaula, Founder and CEO, Wiwigo.
The company is growing at the rate of 30 percent month-on-month on every metric. It currently has 5,000 cabs across categories, starting from Maruti to Rolls Royce. It has served around 25,000 customers till date through its network of 1,200 active vendors across India.
The overall transport space is currently being dominated by Ola and Uber followed by a number of other players.
In June, Ola also launched outstation trips to users in Bengaluru, Vadodara, Kochi, Chennai, Kolkata and Bhopal. In Bengaluru, the base fares for a mini cab is Rs 2,250 for the first 250km for 24 hours, post which the charges are Rs 9 per km and the night charges are at Rs 250 per night. For a prime cab, the charges are Rs 2,500 for the first 250km, after which the user is charged Rs 11 per km, with night charges being Rs 250 per night.
But, it will be too early to infer anything on their new service. The right thing to do now would be to wait and see how successful these services turn out to be.