Rapido is only eight years old and the Indian bike taxi startup is not relenting or afraid to expand into the South Asian cab market where it will square off against the dominating competitors Ola and Uber.
According to reports, we have learned and verified that the Bengaluru-based business has started a trial of its taxi service in Hyderabad, a city in the South. The business intends to extend the service to additional cities, such as Bengaluru, Chandigarh, and Delhi-NCR. Rapido taxis might begin operating in the Delhi-NCR as early as next week, three sources with knowledge of the situation told confirmed.
Customers of Rapido could hail a ride on a three-wheeled auto rickshaw or a motorized motorcycle until recently. By including vehicles in the mix, the business has diversified its offers and may be able to grow its clientele.
Additionally, it makes it stickier for current users who would have previously chosen to use Uber when they needed a lift in a vehicle.
“At Rapido, we’re thrilled to share that our test run in Hyderabad for Rapido Cabs is off to a fantastic start. The city’s vibrant market has warmly embraced us, and the positive response is truly heartening. As we navigate our path forward, we are committed to keeping you closely informed about our progress and eagerly anticipate bringing our innovative services to other cities,” a Rapido spokesperson said in a statement.
According to a source, Rapido wants to work with Zingbus to include intercity bus ticket booking into its app in addition to providing taxi services. Rapido’s gross merchandise value would increase as a result of the cooperation, while Zingbus, situated in Gurugram, would get new clients.
Requests for comments on the cooperation were not immediately answered by Zingbus or Rapido.
Rapido, which was founded in 2015, has over 25 million app downloads and operates in over 100 Indian cities. According to data on its website, the business has over 10 million subscribers and has completed over 100 million rides.
Uber and Ola shared a 90% market share in India’s app-based taxi industry for a while, creating a duopoly. But in the past few months, the nation has begun to witness a change, as Mountain View, California-based InDrive, and locally developed BluSmart have entered the market with their respective all-electric fleets and distinctive haggling models.
Despite the abundance of taxis in India, due to the country’s cost-conscious populace, bike taxis are now available in major cities thanks to the efforts of companies like Ola and Uber. Rapido’s widespread presence makes it a good substitute for these businesses. The firm claims to have over a million bike drivers on its network, providing last-mile connectivity and reasonably priced intra-city transit.
Nevertheless, it is more difficult for all platforms to forecast their market expansion given the ambiguity surrounding the laws governing bike taxis in the various Indian states.
Based on information accessible on Tracxn, Rapido has raised $324 million in total, with the most recent round of $180 million disclosed in April of last year. Among its backers are venture capital firms WestBridge, AdvantEdge, Nexus Venture Partners, and Shell Ventures. The Indian two-wheeler behemoth TVS Motor Company and food delivery aggregator Swiggy are also supporting it.