Swiggy has been the leader of a $180 million financing round for bicycle taxi startup Rapido in the same way that the Indian food delivery firm seeks to expand its fleet of vehicles across the nation, the two companies announced on Friday.
Rapido’s Series D financing round also included the participation of TVS Motor Company and existing investors Westbridge, Shell Ventures, and Nexus Ventures. The latest round puts the value of Rapido at more than $800 million.
The startup that was founded in 2006 and includes Kunal Shah, CRED’s CEO, as well as Amarjit Singh Batra of Spotify India as backers, offers its two-wheeler services across a range of Indian cities. Rapido has collected $310 million in funding to date and has gained over 25 million customers as well as 1.5 million driver-partners that they call captains.
In a period when other fleet startups and businesses such as Ola and Uber have had a difficult time trying to expand their reach within India (in part due to the infeasible model of economics), Rapido’s emphasis on two-wheelers has allowed it to grow slowly. There are a number of other companies, like Swiggy’s main competitor, Zomato, that have been contemplating partnering with Rapido in recent months, according to an individual who is familiar with the situation.
“We hold a lot of respect for the resilience Rapido has displayed in transforming the mobility and logistics space in India,” said Sriharsha Majety, the cofounder, chief executive, and founder at Swiggy.
“Swiggy and Rapido have a common goal: to develop a unified logistics platform which provides users with more options and a better source of earnings. “While we’ve been working together and have made investments, this will enable greater alignment to maximize synergies between the platforms and improve the value we provide to both the customers and delivery managers/captains across the nation,” he added.
Aravind Sanka, co-founder of Rapido The startup will make use of “learning from Swiggy’s experience” to grow “throughout” the country and improve the user experience for its passengers.
“Besides, TVS Motor, who is extremely passionate about EVs and mobility’s future, is going to help us expand further. “We hope to accelerate our progress towards becoming a household name , and to expand our reach across the globe and provide services made possible by our sophisticated technology platform,” he added.
The company hopes to service 50 million customers over the coming year, he added.