Ride-sharing community Tripda has raised $11 million series A round of funding from Rocket Internet and an undisclosed New York based ventures capital firm. According to an ET report, the startup will use the funds to primarily expand to India, as well as to develop its web and mobile products for multiple markets. The company had previously launched in India in November last year, with a focus on Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Delhi, although anyone outside these cities could also use the service. The service is available to users on the web and through mobile apps on iOS & Android.
Tripda allows users to enter a pickup location and a drop-off location to find & book a ride. One can sort the available rides based on proximity, time or price and filter these rides based on price and car type and whether the trip is a ladies-only or not, in a bid to address privacy concerns. One also needs to sign up for the service through Facebook to book a ride and provide valid cell phone and email information as well. Passengers and/or drivers can also review each other post the journey, in a bid to establish trust for future commuters.
As we had mentioned when Tripda launched in India, the biggest challenge the company will face is making sure that the rides are safe for the carpoolers. The other issue is, for it to work, a large number of participants are required so customers can choose the kind of rides they want. Additionally, many customers might actually find booking a bus or a taxi safer, more reliable and convenient. Founded in 2014, Tripda currently operates in 13 countries in the Americas and Asia including US, Brazil and India among others.
Competition: The service competes with GSF-backed Ridingo, ZingHopper and SmartMumbaikar which offers similar ridesharing services. In July this year, French ride-sharing service BlaBlaCar which had also stated plans of entering the Indian market after raising $100 million from Index Ventures & others, launched in the country last month with a New Delhi office. Uber does offer ride sharing in select markets, but the service is not available in India yet.
Image source: Tripda