Seed-stage impact investor, Unitus has invested in mGaadi (read : How mGaadi is changing your auto-rickshaw experience), a mobile-commerce ordering service for auto rickshaws. mGaadi will use the investment to further develop its network of auto drivers, to enhance its technology platform, and to prepare its operations for significant expansion in Bangalore and other India metros.
This is Unitus Seed Fund’s fourth investment in innovative commerce marketplaces, following investments in Milaap,GoCoop and Medypal.
How mGaadi Works
- You call (080) 6768 4983 to book an auto rickshaw (right now, only in Bangalore)
The driver turns up at the appointed time, and actually goes by the meter! The meter fare (plus a Rs. 10 pickup fee) is directly payable to the driver. Night rates will apply as usual – 1.5X between 10 pm and 6 am.
- You can rate the driver.
There is an app too (the one in the video), and a few drivers have signed up for the mGaadi GPS Plan, but most are on the basic plan and work through the good old phone network.
Started in 2013 by Solomon Prakash and Vishy Kuruganti, mGaadi has already signed up over 2,100 auto drivers to their network in Bangalore. and claims that its auto drivers commit to a high-quality customer experience including: (a) always accepting riders; (b) always using their meter; (c) driving safely; and (d) maintaining a courteous attitude.
The Big Picture
Beyond the immediate operations, the India Drivers Network (enterprise behind mGaadi), which is a social for-profit enterprise aims to help organize the largely unorganized drivers’ segment – even beyond autos. There are definitely consumer side benefits to it in terms of reliability and improved, trustworthy service levels, and also financial inclusion that enables bank accounts, insurance and a financial history for access to credit, a better livelihood and standard of living and social standing for the drivers.