[Funding alert] Last-mile connectivity service Loca raises seed round funding from Stellaris and Fosun

Loca said it would use the funds to expand its presence to all major Bengaluru metro stations and scale its tech and operations teams.

24th Oct 2019
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Loca, a shared last-mile connectivity service provider in Bengaluru, has raised its first round of funding from a group of investors led by Stellaris Venture Partners and China-based Fosun RZ Capital.


Tej Kapoor, Co-Executive President of Fosun RZ Capital, said,


We view micro-mobility transit as a massive and largely unsolved problem in almost all the cities in India. In China, we have witnessed new-age micro-mobility solutions being adopted by citizens at a rapid pace with millions of rides being taken daily. Fosun’s portfolio company Hellobike has showcased this huge scale and adoption, and we believe Loca can be at the forefront in India.

A group of individuals including Aprameya Radhakrishna (Co-founder of Taxiforsure), Mayank Bidawatka (Co-founder of Vokal) and Rohit MA (Co-founder of Cloud Nine) also participated in the seed round.


Funds


Loca said it would use the funds to expand its presence to all the major metro stations in Bengaluru and to scale its tech and operations teams. It also plans to build a presence in multiple cities including New Delhi by early next year, while continuing to expand in Bengaluru.


Launched in April 2019 by Gautam Patil and Krishnakumar Ramachandran, Loca currently operates from four Bengaluru metro stations – Indiranagar, Yelachenahalli, Mysore Road, and Vijayanagar. It positions its services as comfortable, air-conditioned shared rides at less than the price of an autorickshaw ride. 


Riders can choose from any of its hundreds of fixed pickup/drop-off points in to avail the service. These points are near local landmarks and are usually a two-minute walk away for riders. 


According to the startup, the motorised micro-mobility market in India accounts for approximately 100 million trips per day but is largely underserved, unreliable, and unaffordable. Loca, a statement said, addresses this gap by setting up local networks of shared mobility with a mixed fleet of minivans and cars that are dynamically routed based on real-time demand.

A compelling investment opportunity

Stellaris is an early-stage venture capital firm that invests in seed and Series A rounds of Indian technology companies. Its current portfolio includes Whatfix, mFine, Vogo, Loadshare, Shop101, and Mamaearth.


Fosun RZ Capital is the venture capital arm of Shanghai-based conglomerate Fosun International and does seed-to-IPO investments. Their portfolio in India includes Delhivery, Ixigo, Kissht, MakeMyTrip, and LetsTransport.


Ritesh Banglani, Partner at Stellaris, said, “Loca offers unmatched convenience and speed to Metro users, and as a result a full 40 percent of their users take a ride daily, on average. Such strong customer loyalty is rare in an early stage startup and makes Loca a compelling investment opportunity.”


Gautam Patil, Co-founder of Loca, said,


“We spent many months building the dynamic routing algorithm and the initial results are very encouraging. The average Loca user gets into a cab within 2.5 minutes of getting out of the metro, even during peak hours. The specificity and volume of data from our operations opens up many possibilities to improve further on this. We are confident the value at our price point can help us build a large scale across India.”

Gautam was a Principal with Boston Consulting Group, while Krishna has built technology products at Amazon, LinkedIn, and Microsoft. 


(Edited by Athirupa Geetha Manichandar)




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