Rapido Bikes is in the final stages of closing a $50 million funding round, led by private equity firm WestBridge Capital, showcasing the growing investor interest in the Indian tech-focused mobility sector.
WestBridge Capital, which manages $2 billion in assets, is likely to invest $30 million in the Bengaluru-based bike taxi services provider, with its existing cohort investors also participating.
The three -year-old company counts the likes of early-stage, mobility-focused investment firm AdvantEdge, Astarc Ventures, Hong Kong-based Integrated Capital and global investment manager Skywatcher Fund, among its list of institutional backers, along with a clutch of well-known angel investors.
Emails sent to Rapido Bikes and WestBridge Capital did not elicit any responses at the time of going to press. In December last year, the PE firm had also invested Rs 200 crore in online interior design platform DesignCafe.
The overall equity financing round, which according to two sources briefed on the development, could value the company at $150-$200 million, and also stretch by a further $10 million, with talks ongoing for a second new investor.
Rapido was founded by IIT graduates Aravind Sanka, Rishikesh SR and Pavan Guntupalli in November 2015.
The developments, which were first reported by The Times of India, come at a time when investors, across stages, are priming themselves to back mobility ventures. While bike taxis have also faced their share of challenges in running operations, due to restrictions placed by lawmakers, but such hurdles have been somewhat eased with state transport corporations relaxing their list of demands.
The investor interest also comes at a time when growth for Ola and Uber India, two of the country’s largest cab-hailing companies, in their core business of has slowed down considerably.
ET reported earlier that the number of daily rides has inched up by just 4% — from 3.5 million to 3.65 million — in the past six months, forcing investors to look at other options in a geography where public transportation infrastructure continues to be broken.
In March, Flipkart’s cofounder Sachin Bansal’s BAC Acquisitions backed dockless scooter sharing startups Vogo and Bounce with $3 million in debt each. Separately, Bounce is raising $50 million-$70 million from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and new investors including Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin-backed B Capital.