Indian startups are starting a bike taxi trend. 74 BC Technologies Pvt Ltd, which is going to launch its bike-as-a-taxi service under the brand name “Baxi” in Gurgaon from 1st December, has raised a $1.5 million in seed round.
Baxi has been started by IIT graduates Ashutosh Johri and Manu Rana. Ashutosh is a Telecom & IT industry veteran with sales experience at companies like Ericsson, Iridium, IBM, Cisco and AT Kearney. Manu has been in product startups throughout his career, starting with i2 Technologies (in the early days), Match.com, BookMyShow.com and finally Bharti SoftBank (IgniteWorld), where he was the Chief Product Officer.
The round saw investment from HNIs and friends of the Founders. Some of the HNIs included Manish Kheterpal, Managing Partner, WaterBridge Ventures, Alok Mittal, Founder, Indifi Technologies, and Puneet Dalmia, Managing Director, Dalmia Bharat Group.
Baxi – The Bike Taxi claims that it is looking to consolidate their positions as market leaders by growing to 500 Baxis in Gurgaon in the next 3 months. Johri has estimated says that Haryana has over 75,000 Autos, from his interactions with the Transport department, and expects that the state can accommodate at least 50,000 Baxis. In addition, he is confident to get similar permissions from 3 other states very soon.
For this reason, they plan to again raise a sizeable next round of investment in the $25-30 million range. Baxi hopes to reach 500 bikes in Gurgaon in the next few months.
Each bike comes with insurance policies where even the passengers are covered for accidents. An in-house emergency response team is being set up, and there will be tie ups with hospitals across the city. As part of the induction process, the ‘buddies’ will be getting police verification, and ID cards will be provided to all of them. Buddy details will be furnished to the RTA, and the local police stations. They will be given training on defensive driving, soft skills and customer handling. Technology will also be used to monitor every buddy in real time, on parameters like speed, location, and safety. Every passenger is mapped to the buddy they are riding with, and they will both have SOS buttons on their mobile app.
While other players in the transportation industry are facing regulatory, non-compliance issues, Baxi seems to have reversed the business approach by sorting out the regulatory aspects before launching.
Two days back, another on-demand 2-Wheeler taxi service, M-TAXI announced its angel funding, led by angel investors named Mandeep Singh and Jairaj Singh.