Kidext Technologies, which operates a transportation service for children under the PiggyRide brand, has raised $1.86 million (Rs 14 crore) in a bridge funding round, dubbed a pre-series A round.
Returning investor Singapore headquartered technology focused venture capital fund Jafco Asia and new investor early stage venture capital firm Artha Venture Fund backed the company in the current round, as per a statement.
The Bengaluru-based company said it will deploy the fresh funds to scale its product and expand its engineering team.
“Over the past six months, we have worked tirelessly to create an ecosystem of trusted curated services which help make parents’ life hassle free and flexible... Covid-19 has further accelerated the need for parents to think more deeply about their child’s academic, extracurricular and mental wellness needs, while at the same time, seek support in payment of school fees to ease out the financial burden,” Manish Tewari, founder and CEO of PiggyRide, said.
The company, which offers air conditioned cab services to ferry children between home and school, was founded in April by IIT-Varanasi alumnus Tewari and IIT-Delhi graduate Rohan Kaushal. While Tewari earlier co-founded Koovs and Pokkt, Kaushal has worked with Ola and Koovs in the past.
The company last raised capital in a $10.5 million seed funding round, led by Jafco Asia, along with a clutch of angel investors, in November.
Apart from PiggyRide, the company runs two other products -- PiggyDiscovery and PiggyFinance. While the former offers parents and kids a platform to browse and book from more than 10,000 courses and extracurricular interest-based activities, PiggyFinance claims to have tied up with 30 lenders to sanction education loans.
“PiggyRide is seen as a long term partner to both parents and educational institutes, which is a big defensibility in a consumer business. We are proud to see the company scale and execute even during the pandemic with an exceptional response. We are very bullish on the company’s two latest product launches in the financial services and education space, which are aimed at making the PiggyRide a full-stack ecosystem for parents to give their children a holistic development experience,” Supriya Singh, director of Jafco Investment Asia, said.
Founded in 1990, Jafco 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.
Additionally, new investor Artha Venture Fund, launched in 2018, is a micro venture capital fund. It closed its debut fund, which had a target corpus of Rs 200 crore, at $6 million in July 2018. The fund was sponsored by Artha India Ventures, Singularity Holdings, and the respective family offices of former Bombay Stock Exchange directors Ashok Kumar Damani and Ramesh M Damani, and former Reliance Capital investments head Madhusudan Kela.