As mobility startups continue to garner investor attention, app-based electric rickshaw hailing service Oye! Rickshaw has raised $10 million in a Series A round, said two people aware with details of the transaction. Chiratae Ventures has led the round along with the participation of Xiaomi and Pawan Munjal, said one of two people cited above.
“The deal materialised about three weeks ago,” said the above person. “Existing investor Matrix Partners has also participated in the round.”
The person requested anonymity as he’s not allowed to speak to the media.
Operational in Delhi, Oye! Rickshaw offers to share and reserve e-rickshaw rides in Vaishali (Ghaziabad), Moti Nagar, Rajendra Nagar, Shadipur, Dwarka, Janakpuri, Mayur Vihar and Noida (Electronic City). The app works within a 5 km radius around these locations — offering last-mile transport.
According to media reports, the company had completed 2 million rides in 2019. Founded by Mohit Sharma and Akashdeep Singh, the company had raised a seed round from Matrix, Anand Chandrasekharan, Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal, Prashant Malik and Navroz Udwadia.
Queries sent to Oye! Rickshaw, Chiratae, Xiaomi and Matrix didn’t elicit any immediate response while Munjal couldn’t be contacted immediately. We will update the post as and when they respond.
Sources said that the proceeds will be deployed for expansion across the NCR region and other cities. “Oye! Rickshaw has been valued in the range of $30 to 35 million in the fresh round,” said the second source. He also requested anonymity.
Electric rickshaw has become the preferred mode of last-mile commute for office goers in Delhi-NCR region over the last 3-4 years, especially in and around the metro routes and highly populated pockets. As of now, about 80-90% of e-rickshaw drivers work independently, and they aren’t attached to any app or platform to generate demand.
According to several media reports, there are more than 1,00,000 e-rickshaws in Delhi alone. Looking at the number of e-rickshaws, the scope of having an Ola-Uber play of sorts certainly seems feasible. It’s worth noting that Ola is likely to enter the e-rickshaw space through Ola Electric.
For Munjal and Xiaomi, funding in Oye! Rickshaw seem to be strategic in nature. Xiaomi also has an electric bike brand in China.