With rising traffic and lack of infrastructure, more time is being spent commuting to and back from work and as a result employee transportation service is becoming an expensive and inefficient affair for many companies.
In a bid to change that, a Hyderabad-based startup WhistleDrive has built an AI-based transportation solution, which comes with end-to-end automation eliminating the need for manual work.
Having started with a driver on demand service, one experiment with employee transportation for a company made them realise that here was immense scope in this segment.
Founded in 2017, WhistleDrive started with location tracking of cabs and analytics to see how many cabs came on time, how many delayed, etc, WhistleDrive is now transitioning into using AI-powered intelligence for predictive analytics that caters to enterprises, thus making it a B2B business. â€śSay there is a predicted delay on a route, AI will tell the driver to maybe start earlier and how to avoid delays. Moreover, the driver, the employer, admin, everyone gets notifications on real-time data. Thatâ€™s the kind of predictive analytics we are working on. The new version will be coming out very soon,â€ť Rakesh Munnanooru, founder of WhistleDrive says.
And for this business segment, WhistleDrive is running on a hybrid model where it only aggregates vehicles but also owns some inventory â€“ its own cabs. â€śWe will be looking at the hybrid model going forward in every city that we enter. It gives us a sense of back up as well â€“ in case a partner driver doesnâ€™t show up, we have this to fall back on,â€ť Rakesh says.
WhistleDrive, which is also a aprt of Hyderabad-based startup engine T-Hub's Lab32 program, is now present is Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai with a fleet size of 650 cabs. Rakesh says that the company is clocking a revenue of Rs 7.8 crore at present and is aiming to each Rs 25 crore by end of 2019.
Going forward, the startup is working on not just offering employee transport systems but on building an ecosystem of transportation solutions. This also includes providing last mile solutions such as bus shuttles from local train and metro stations, which will also be tech and AI driven. It will also be expanding its presence to Pune an Visakhapatnam soon.
With 26 clients, WhistleDrive is currently transporting around 10,000 employees. It is now looking to scale this up to 25,000 employees by the second quarter of this year.
And given its aggressive scaling plans, Rakesh says that the startup will look to raise funds in about six months from now.
â€śWe want to be strong player in Bengaluru, Chennai Pune and Vizag. There are many other employee transportation solution providers, but we are looking at automation at every level, address pain points at every level of the process and make it convenient not just for employees, but also for the employer and the drivers. That is what will make us different,â€ť says Rakesh.