Bengaluru-based Kidext Technologies, which operates a transportation service for kids under the brand PiggyRide, has raised $10.5 million in a seed round led by Tokyo-based venture capital firm JAFCO Investment Asia Pacific.
A clutch of angel investors including Naveen Tewari, founder and chief executive officer, InMobi; Ramakant Sharma and Anuj Srivastava, co-founders, Livspace; Niladri Mukhopadhyay, managing director, Goldman Sachs; Amiya Pathak, co-founder and chief operating officer, Zipdial and Sachin Maheshwari, co-founder and chief executive officer, EzCred also participated in the round, the company said in a statement.
PiggyRide will invest the fresh funds on strengthening its technology infrastructure, expanding team and enhancing supply network.
Founded in April this year by Manish Tewari, an IIT-Varanasi alumnus, along with Rohan Kaushal, an IIT-Delhi alumnus, PiggyRide offers air-conditioned cab services to ferry children from home to school and back.
Using its mobile app, parents can track kids’ location on a real-time basis and watch a video feed of the ride on demand. The startup also claims to follow a 15-steps verification process that includes a background check and police-verification for driver on-boarding.
Tewari had previously co-founded Koovs and Pokkt while Kaushal has worked with Ola and Koovs in the past.
It currently serves kids from more than 50 academies, schools, daycares and coaching institutes across Bengaluru, the statement added.
“Since our launch, we have been growing 100% every month, clocking in about 1,000 rides on average with about 27 rides per user,” Tewari said.
The startup plans to launch the services in Delhi-NCR this month.
“Piggy ride is addressing a problem which is very large and very core to most parents in urban cities. This space has been largely untouched over decades and technology is non-existent is children’s school commute,” said Supriya Singh, senior investment manager, JAFCO Asia.
Kaushal said that the company is building a local discovery platform for kid activities.
Founded in 1990, JAFCO Investment Asia is a venture capital firm in the Asia pacific region.
It is part of JAFCO, one of Japan's largest private equity funds which is also listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It has offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, Seoul and Beijing.