Carpooling app Orahi gets $520K from IAN
startup joins a host of companies that are coming up with such services after the Delhi government put curbs on private vehicle use to combat pollution.
Orahi will use the money to enhance its technology platform, hire staffers and expand operations, the angel network said in a statement.
The funding round was led by IAN investors Vinish Kathuria and Amandeep Gupta, who will join Orahi's board.
Orahi, owned and operated by Phonon Solutions Pvt Ltd, lets users share car rides to office and back. It is a community-based system that enables rides with friends, colleagues, and neighbours.
The startup was founded by Sameer Khanna and Arun Bhati in 2012. A Delhi University graduate, Khanna has worked with Ericsson, Cisco and Huawei in the past. Bhati is a postgraduate from IIM Calcutta and was heading global operations for tendering offshoring for Ericsson Global Services before launching Orahi.
Orahi claims to have facilitated 16 lakh kms of ride shares so far. The startup said its corporate connect programme links 500 companies in Delhi-NCR to enable carpooling amongst their employees.
"India has 30 million cars on road and we are going to target 10 per cent of these cars to enable carpooling in next two years," said Khanna, who is also CEO of Orahi.
The Delhi government's decision to implement the odd-even car scheme, allowing vehicles with licence plates ending with odd and even numbers to ply on alternate days initially on a trial basis, has prompted many companies to launch carpooling services in the city.
Uber Technologies Inc launched its ride-sharing service UberPool in Delhi-NCR to cash in on the surge in demand. Launched first in Bangalore, UberPOOL is modelled on the service that is already active in the US. Ola, Uber's main rival and India's biggest taxi aggregator, has also launched a carpooling service.
In September last year, Meru Cab Company Pvt Ltd, one of India's oldest radio taxi firms, ventured into the carpooling space by launching a new service for customers travelling to the same area.
Though there are a number of ride-sharing apps in the market, Meru was the first taxi company to venture into this nascent business.
A number of other startups in this segment including Mumbai-based Teilen Infoservices Pvt Ltd, which owns P2P ride-sharing app LiftO, and Hyderabad-based Zify Tech Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs the ride-sharing app Zify, have raised investments in recent times.
The ride-sharing segment also has players such as BlaBlacar, Tripda and Ibibo Group's Ryde.