Cabsguru, a cab search, comparison and booking platform, has raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding led by Prashanth Ranganathan, founder and CEO of Paysense. Cabsguru will use the funding to strengthen its product. The company, which was founded by Vikash Singh and Pulkit Ahuja in 2014, has also launched a cab booking bot called Robocab within its app.
Ahuja said that Robocab can handle the app-juggling users have to make when looking for a cab and not finding it from one provider. The bot provides results based on time, cab operator, cab type and surge pricing. According to its press statement, the company is working on building a data gathering and analytics engine to predict a user’s impulse preference for road travel (including bike taxis, self drive cars and cabs). It claims to have 120,000 organic users and handles over a 100,000 cab search, comparison and booking queries monthly.
The Android app operates in 75 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, and provides a single search for cabs from Ola, TaxiForSure, Meru, Easy Cabs, Mega Cabs, Yo Cabs and Tab Cab among others, conspicuously leaving out Uber. Its advisory board includes INSEAD Angels Dharmendra Yashovardhan, former cofounder of ixigo, Rishab Malik, cofounder of droom and Devneet Bajaj, founder and CEO of MITRA.
Interestingly, A Quora user pointed that Cabsguru is apparently “hacking into these websites to book a cab”, to which Singh replied that he wouldn’t be able to give a direct answer, but added that it was using publicly available information in a structured manner. Also, another thread on Quora discusses that getting permission for an app’s API is a requirement to use the app inside another app or platform.
Ola and Uber APIs:
In September, Ola opened up its API for developers which would let developers integrate the platform’s services on their apps. At that point, the company mentioned that Samsung, MakeMyTrip, Helpchat and inMobi had integrated Ola’s API.
Competitor Uber launched its API in August 2014, enabling apps to pass a destination to the Uber app, display pickup times, provide fare estimates, access trip history and more. Earlier this month, Uber announced that developers of Android and iOS apps would be able to integrate Uber’s “Ride Request” button on their apps, and would show next to every address or ‘intent to ride’ feature in their apps. However, once developers signed up Uber on their platform, they would be barred from adding any other competitor apps on their apps, “to offer a consistent Uber experience in other apps”.
Similar apps in the space:
In April, travel search engine Ixigo launched an Android app called ixigo Cabs which would aggregate cab info from places near the users. The company said that it had tied up with major taxi aggregator apps and curated a list of reliable taxi operators in major towns, with plans to offer inter-city rides in the future. Other players include Ryder and OyeTaxi.
Read about the recent fate of autorickshaw aggregators here.