Delhi-based cab search, comparison and booking platform Cabsguru, owned by Nohup Technologies Pvt Ltd, has raised $200,000 (Rs1.3 crore) seed funding from a group of investors led by Prashanth Ranganathan, founder and CEO of Paysense Services India Pvt Ltd and former head of product - APAC for PayPal.
This round of funding puts the valuation of the startup at $3.5 million.
The company aims to use the fresh funds for building the technology and back-end data analytics; hiring, and social media marketing.
"We are planning to hire 10-15 people with experience in business development, data science, and technological expertise," Pulki Ahuja, co-founder, Cabsguru told VCCircle.
Cabsguru is looking to raise an additional $150,000 to take the total seed round funding amount to $350,000, Ahuja said.
Founded in 2014 by Vikash Singh and Pulkit Ahuja, Cabsguru is a third-party app that provides users with the complete ecosystem starting from a single search for multiple cab providers like Ola, Taxi For Sure, Meru, Easy Cabs, Mega Cabs, Yo Cabs, Tab Cab, etc., to the booking, tracking and rating of cabs of these cab aggregators directly from its app. As of date, Cabsguru has more than 1,20,000 organic users and handles more than 1,00,000 cab search, comparison and booking queries on a monthly basis.
Cabsguru offers its services in 75 cities across the country.
In addition, the company has launched a first-of-its-kind multiple cab operator cab search and booking bot called Robocab. Robocab ensures that Cabsguru users don't have to juggle between different cab apps during rush hours till they find a cab to their liking.The bot books cabs for users based on their pre-defined time preference, cab operator, cab type and surge pricing.
Ranganathan had previously founded Truvie Security which he sold to PayPal in 2011. He was also co-founder of SayNow Inc, which was sold to Google in 2010.
Cabsguru is in the process of building a cross-vertical data gathering and analytics engine that can predict the Indian user's impulsive preference of road travel across multiple verticals including bike taxis, self-drive cars and cab offerings from various cab providers.
Cabguru said it is also working on a driver app to enable inter-city cab bookings, and plans to launch it by the end of January 2016. It aims to get around 5000-7000 drivers on board before launching the new app, for which the company will charge the commission from drivers.
The emergence of third-party apps follows the taxi-hailing space heating up in India. Both Uber and Ola are investing heavily to entrench themselves in the Rs 48,000 crore taxi market.
In July, Chandigarh-based SoCoMo Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owns on-demand delivery service provider Jugnoo, acquired taxi aggregator BookMyCab in a cash and stock deal. BookMyCab allows commuters to book non-AC yellow-and-black cabs at regular metre fare in addition to AC cool cabs. In April, online travel search engine ixigo.com had launched 'ixigo cabs', an app which searches through more than 250 offline taxi/auto providers and online cab aggregators for inter-city travel. In August, it acquired Square Hoot Hikes Pvt Ltd, the company behind inter-city cabs marketplace Rutogo. Other than ixigo, Cabsguru will be competing with Loco Cabs and Scoot App.
However, Cabsguru's Pulkit is unfazed. "Backed by data analytics and technology and strong organic users base, we are way ahead of competition," he said.