Peer-to-peer car and bike sharing startup Drivezy, who has enabled cryptocurrency as a payment option on its platform raised $5 million from its first round of initial coin offering (ICO).
The Y-Combinator-backed startup saw participation from existing investors and high net worth individuals (HNIs) from Japan and Singapore in the latest fundraising, reports Mint.
Drivezy claims to have a fleet of over 1,300 vehicles listed across four cities listed by more than 800 owners. It also has more than 500,000 registered users. With the fresh proceeds, Drivezy plans to add 800 cars and bikes to its platform.
For the ICO, Drivezy had roped in Japanese payment firm Anypay, which will provide advisory support in terms of scheme structuring, token development and more to the Indian company.
An Initial Coin Offering is an unregulated means of raising money from potential investors using cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin, and others.
For the current round, Drivezy limited the ICO to investors who have a minimum net worth of $1 million or those with an income of more than $200,000 per year.
The Bengaluru-based self-driving platform had earlier partnered with Unocoin to begin bitcoin transactions and launched its ICO. It aspires to enable ownership of vehicles on its platform across the globe through Bitcoins. However, it later discontinued the crypto-coin payment owing to high costs.
The company plans to raise up to $15 million through multiple rounds of ICOs. The development also comes on the heels of the question mark on cryptocurrencies, whether it is certified as a legal tender or not.
The recent budget also couldn’t clear the future of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin in India. Compared to ponzi schemes, the uncertainty around the legality of cryptocurrency is a concern in India. The government had formed a committee to regulate cryptocurrency.
After Arun Jaitley’s strong statement on virtual currencies during the budget, the regulating bodies on virtual currency have decided to submit the report that will contain regulations and explanations on how to deal with cryptocurrencies.
Founded in April 2015 by Ashwarya Singh, Hemant Sah, Vasant Verma, Abhishek Mahajan and Amit Sahu, all alumni of IIT-Bombay and NIT Allahabad, Drivezy underwent a rebranding exercise in July 2017 and rechristened it from JustRide.
So far, the firm has raised around $15 million. In its latest funding, Drivezy raised $10 million in a mixed round of equity and debt in October, last year. Prior to that, the P2P marketplace had raised $3 million in November 2016 in a bridge round of funding.