Car-pooling could certainly help India solve its clogged commuting issues, and investors too have started realising that. On that note, Orahi, a Gurgaon based car pooling startup has raised a decent $450K in a seed round from Indian Angel Network (IAN). As a part of the deal, Vinish Kathuria and Amandeep Gupta of IAN will join the board of the company.
The newly raised funding from the company will be used to enhance its product features and capabilities, along with expanding its team and launch marketing initiatives in the National Capital Region. Orahi is also planning to increase its team members to around 40 people from its current 15 members team. It will also consolidate platform in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Commenting about this development, Sameer Khanna, Co-founder and CEO, Orahi, said,
Owing to Delhi government’s odd-even rule and many responsible citizens’ concerns, the demand for carpooling has reached its peak. The investment has come at a crucial time. With this investment, we are planning to build the platform squarely.
Founded in 2012 by Sameer Khanna and Arun Bhati, the company is offering a ride sharing platform that enables users to share rides with friends, colleagues and neighbors while travelling. It claims to have more than 45,000 users on its platform which also includes car owners and passengers. In the company’s corporate connect programme, around 500 companies has opted in for the same.
Currently, the company is charging Rs. 3.50 per kilometre from each passenger, and keeps the amount in escrow until the ride is finished and it is approved by both parties. Rs 3 is paid to the owner of the car and the remaining 50 paise is charged by Orahi. There is no membership fee, and charges are on a per ride basis.
Commenting about the investment, Vinish Kathuria of India Angel Network says,
We see a good potential in the platform and the team. Orahi has been able to do good business in the past two-and-a-half years.
The online car pooling service has been on rise, especially after the implementation of odd-even rule in the country’s capital. According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, the global carpooling market is currently estimated at $15 billion, and is projected to hit $335 billion by 2025.
Startups offering similar services in India includes MeBuddie, PoolCircle and Let’s Ride, among others. France-based BalBlaCars also launched its operations in India last year, while uber and Ola both have their own ride-sharing features operational in a few of their overall operational cities.