Mumbai-based self-driving car rental startup Drivezy has just received funding of Rs. 65 crore ($10million) as part-equity and part debt as per an Economic Times report. The company used to be known as JustRide earlier.
Of this, $5 miilion has been made by Axan Partners, Das Capital and IT Farm, which have their origins in the US and Japan, while the remaining $5 million has come from a consortium of Indian banks and NBFCs. These are ICICI Bank, Shriram Finance and Cholamandalam Finance. The former is in the form of equity and the latter by the consortium is in the form of debt. With this, the total funds raised by Drivezy is Rs.107 crore ($16.5 million).
The company has changed its business model from being a car-sharing marketplace to being a peer-to-peer aggregator and has a fleet of 1300 vehicles, comprising 1000 cars and 300 bikes. The company has started bike rentals also this year.
Interestingly, the current $10million funding is meant to enable the company’s financial architecture to accept payments in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies in order to expand its fleet ownership beyond Indian shores.
Having partnered with Unocoin, the company is trying to add to its fleet strength through investments from overseas, which will be made through bitcoins and they will be issued tokens in lieu and Drivezy is assuring a 30% annual return on their bitcoin investments. The plans is termed Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and the advisor for this is the Japanese firm Anpay.
Within the country, business expansion is being attempted through cycle renting in Bangalore and through spreading to other cities like Kochi, Chennai, Udaipur and Hyderabad, not exactly in that order. On the financials side, the company says it is registering business turnover of around Rs. 1.30 Crores per month and are almost on a breakeven level. Their expectations are, with fleet expansion and organic growth, they would turn profitable by March 2018. Drivezy claims a monthly growth in booking of close to 25%.