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Rapido Raises Fresh Funds Amid Regulatory Problems

Bike rental startup Rapido has raised $55 Mn (nearly INR 391 Cr) in a series B round. Investment firm Westbridge capital spearheaded the round while Nexus Venture Partners, Integrated Capital, Bace Funds and Astrend India Investment Limited along with clutch of independent investors also contributed to the funding round.

Bike Rental Startup Rapido scoops up $55 Mn in Series B round

Following the round, Westbridge Capital has become the largest stakeholder in Rapido with 22.15% holding. Nexus VP and Integrated Capital have also increased their stakes in the company while three co-founders – Pavan Guntupalli, Aravind Sanka and Rishikesh S R – will hold 7.43% stake each in the company.

Rapido’s latest fundraising round has come barely a week after it acquired Mumbai based analytic startup Vahanalytics.

The Bengaluru based startup counts quite a few high profile investors including Pawan Munjal (Chairman of Hero Moto Corp) and Curefit co-founder Ankit Nagori. Buoyed by some good fundraising rounds, the company has managed to increase its footprints across the Indian market. The company claims that, as of today, it is present across 40 Indian cities.

However, Rapido’s expansion strategy has constantly met with regulatory hurdles. In the wake of absence of clear regulatory policies, bike rental startups have faced temporary bans in several states. Even ride hailing majors like Ola and Uber are facing problems in smoothening up their bike taxi operations due to regulatory issues.

Barely a month ago, Rapido was penalized in Tamil Naidu as it was temporarily banned. However, the ban was later lifted by the Madras HC but the fiasco once again reminded about the complex regulatory issues plaguing the industry.

Despite the festering issue of regulatory hurdles, investors are openly taking bet on bike taxi startups. Their reason for optimism emanates from ground realities depicting Indian roads where two wheelers are undisputed king, outnumbering four wheelers by a huge margin.


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