Radio cab service provider Meru Cabs has raised $50 million (about Rs 300 crore) from existing investor India Value Fund Advisors, reports Business Standard. Meru Cabs CEO Siddhartha Pahwa told the publication that the company expects to raise an additional $100 million from a new set of investors by the end of this month. Currently, India Value Fund has over 80% stake in Meru Cabs, and are expected to divest a part of their stake for the additional funding.
The Mumbai-based company claims to have a fleet of about 12,000 cars, of which it directly owns about 6,000. This is unlike Ola (fleet of over 1 lakh vehicles), TaxiForSure (15,000 vehicles) and Uber that are merely aggregators of taxi service providers and don’t directly own any of the cars.
In October last year, Meru Cabs had tied-up with digital payments solutions provider Citrus Pay to release an in-app prepaid wallet to offer cashless taxi rides, right on the heels of Ola launching an in-app wallet. Earlier in the year, Meru Cabs had asked Reserve Bank Of India (RBI) to extend its recurring billing guidelines to foreign players like Uber as well, thereby creating a level playing field among domestic and International players. This led to the RBI issuing a directive that entities that route online billing internationally, for goods and services purchased online using Indian cards, need to include a second factor of authentication, and route transactions through a bank in India.
Over the past 12 months or so, Meru Cabs has mostly been in the background as most of the attention has been focused on Ola, TaxiForSure and Uber: Ola’s acquisition of TaxiForSure, Uber’s legal troubles with the Delhi Transport Department and more.