And even though you have folks like Uber and Ola doing a decent job of ferrying locals in a city, with 29 states and numerous cities, reliable and efficient outstation cab services are still hard to find. Roder is one such inter-city cab aggregator which aims to organise, bring transparency and affordability in intercity cab booking service — and it just got backed by Unicorn India VC.
Launched in 2014, Roder has today secured its first round of funding pegged at Rs 1.6 crore led by Unicorn India Ventures, an early stage startup VC fund and a clutch of other investors. For Unicorn, this will be their first investment post its recent partial closure of first 100 crore fund.
The funds will be used by the company to foray into 20 new cities in North and Western region of the country and bring a completely hassle-free travel experience for the customers there.
Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Venture said on their first investment,
We have seen startups grow rapidly in intra-city cab booking space and the convenience it has brought in our lives. We believe Roder can bring the same convenience to customers who currently have to shell out a two-way tariff for traveling from one city to the other. Roder’s model is such that it not only makes cabs available at short notice but also results in substantial savings for customers.
He attributed the scalability of the business model of Roders and the future scope in this space as prime reasons behind their investment.
Roder aims to eliminate “the return-fare” concept from the market by optimizing resources so that the customer only pays for the distance traveled. When booked via any other operator, a typical one-way Delhi to Agra cab journey costs around Rs 6000. Roder provides one-way fare to Agra at just Rs 2600, which is more than 50% cheaper than the market pricing, without compromising on customer safety and quality of service.
According to the co-founder of Roder, Abhishek Negi, since the inception in 2014, they have generated a GMV of over a crore by fulfilling 500 rides on a monthly basis, with an average ticket size of Rs 5,500. He also said that the demand for booking one-way rides via Roder has grown from 5% to 70% from its early days.
The company today works with a pool of more than 4,000 drivers and is present in 13 cities. It’s a hybrid model where some of the fleet cars are owned by the company while the rest are driver-owned cabs. This has helped them keep their costs low and pass on the benefit to the customers.
On the recent funding round, Abhishek said,
We believe our team is now ready to take its services to new markets in the country. We have raised this seed funding round which is led by Unicorn to foray into 20 new cities in North and Western region of the country and bring a completely hassle-free travel experience for the customers there.
Roder focuses heavily on driver and cab verification, training of drivers to ensure customer safety and overall experience. The Roder Team uses technology to automate various processes, focuses on last-mile connectivity; making the system highly scalable. The company has launched its Android app and also accepts booking via its website and call center.
The company is also working on introducing ‘ride-sharing’ feature for intercity travelers there by optimizing costs of travel for consumers. Roder has enabled the drivers to earn more from the same fleet of cars as their market and reach to consumers has increased with the use of technology.