Ola is reportedly in talks with Gurugram-based carpooling startup sRide, and may soon invest $4.2 million in the company for a minimum stake of 26%. The startup is attracting good business because other venture capital funds have also shown an interest in investing in it along with Ola or during a more substantial funding round.
Founded in 2014 by Lakshana Chadha Jha and Nitin Chadha, sRide is a corporate carpooling app that takes user location and confirms whether said user is a rider or one willing to provide a ride, and matches prospective passengers with drivers. Besides reducing travel time, the app also helps the user reduce the cost of travel by letting multiple riders pool the money to pay the vehicle owner. Currently operative in Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, and Bengaluru, the app has tie-ups with corporate firms like Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Wipro, MasterCard, and Capgemini. It last raised $1 million in seed funding in 2016 and an undisclosed amount in a similar one in 2014.
Ola, for its part, committed to investing $100 million in scooter service providing the app, Vogo, back in December 2018. Since then, it has allowed its 150 million users to avail of Vogo’s services directly from the Ola app. Its own $1 billion Series J funding recently received a commitment of $100 million from Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth. Ola is currently looking to make its service international and is already providing services to New Zealand, Indonesia, and Australia, with hopes of expanding to the UK soon.
Carpooling services are becoming a growing business in current urban India due to problems of unplanned roads and an increased number of vehicles causing congested traffic and adding to pollution. A Statista report suggests that revenue earned from the ride-sharing segment currently amounts to a whopping $371 Mn in 2018, with an anticipated annual growth rate (CAGR 2018-2022) of 19.6%, which may result in a market volume of $761 Mn by 2022.