Car rental service Savaari, which raised about $1 mn from Inventus capital last year, is planning a few launches in the coming months. The company has started piloting its Android app in Bangalore and two other cities. The app not only tracks the running status of the cab, but also keeps a track of toll and parking fee among others to give a complete bill at the end of each trip to the customer.
Presently its runs on the drivers Android device and soon, a similar app for customers will also be rolled out, Gaurav Aggarwal, Founder & CEO of Savaari.com told NextBigWhat.
The company is also building software that local cab vendors can use to manage their inventory. It will be similar to what RedBus did for bus ticketing and will allow Savaari to allocate inventory in real time. “Right now, almost all the vendors are doing inventory management offline. We want to give them a platform to manage it online,” said Aggarwal.
Savaari has nearly 3000 cars running for it in 60 cities. The company doesn’t buy any cars of its own but ties up with local vendors who provide car rental services. Savaari has nearly 158 vendors and is planning to grow its vendor base to add 7-8 cities in the next six months.
Aggarwal doesn’t want to be in the radio cab space, neither does he want to concentrate on airport transport and short distances. “We are in the space where people rent the car for a full day,” he said. Full day rentals comprise of 86 % of the market estimated to be worth Rs 18,000 cr in India.
Savaari employs close to 100 people now and is trying to create a healthy mix of retail and corporate customers for its services.
With new technology coming in, the car rental space has seen a lot of action in the recent past. It brought down entry barriers and made it easier for newer players to enter the market. Aggarwal was with Cisco in the US until he quit to start the online car rental company.
Over the past two years, the cab rental space has seen debuts of players like OlaCabs, TaxiForSure and TaxiGuide amongst others. Bangalore based Cabs24x7 is one of newest to enter the space.
As venture capitalists moved on from e-commerce last year, the cab rental industry seems to have caught their fancy. Investors have been courting some serious business opportunity in the largely unorganised $6-billion domestic cab market, growing at 25-30% year on year.
Mumbai based Olacabs, founded in 2011 raised Series A funding of more than $3 million from Tiger Global last year. Two months ago, Sharedcab raised angel investment under a million dollars from prominent investors such as Anupam Mittal, Sasha Mirchandani (Kae Capital), Blume Ventures and few others. TaxiForSure had raised venture capital funding from Accel Partners, Helion Venture Partners and Blume Ventures. Call Taxi Service, Bookmycab secured funding from YourNest Angel Fund and Mumbai Angels six months ago.