Mumbai-based car sharing platform, JustRide, has raised about $3 Mn (INR 20 Cr) in a bridge round of funding from YCombinator partners Justin Kan & Qasar Younis (COO of YCombinator), and Paul Buccheit (creator of Gmail). San Francisco-based Susa Ventures, Kima Ventures, Axan Venture, London-based SCM Holdings, and IT-Farm from Japan also participated in this round.
In March 2016, the startup raised $400K in pre-Series A round of funding from a group of angel investors including Dheeraj Jain, partner at Redcliffe Capital. That’s when the company shifted to a car-sharing marketplace from an aggregator-based model.
Talking about the development, Ashwarya Singh, CEO of JustRide said, “Car ownership in India stands at a meager 20 for every 1,000 individuals; in contrast to the US, which boasts of almost one car for every individual aged above 18. A vast majority in India do not have access to personal transport, presenting an extensive market for car rentals. The challenge is to build a sustainable car-sharing model to cater to the average urban commuters, while keeping in mind the interests of the car owners; who have a depreciating asset that is their car and does not get any return on it. By leasing their idle car, an average Indian, who earns $500 each month, can increase their income to twofold. Our car-sharing platform has been received with great interest. We have added 220 cars since piloting the concept in March. We are keen on exploring our Smart Vehicle Technology which powers Yabber. The connected car technology complements our business very well and we shall raise a fresh round of capital to build data centres shortly.”
The fresh funds will be used to bolster JustRide’s car sharing platform JustConnect and Yabber, an IoT device for cars which is based on the company’s Smart Vehicle Technology. JustConnect is a car sharing platform that helps to monetise the cars of the individuals, when not in use.
As per a company statement, the startup is looking to scale up its fleet from the current 300 to 2,000 with an aim to add about 300 cars per month for the next four-six months.
In November last year, JustRide raised a funding of $2 Mn. It indirectly competes with taxi aggregators and ride-sharing startups like Ola, Uber, Brazil-based Tripda, Let’s Ride, PoolCircle, Ryde, among others.