Mumbai, November 19th 2015: AHA Taxis (a division of WAAH Taxis Pvt Ltd), India’s leading online aggregator for outstation travel has raised an undisclosed round of angel funding from ah! Ventures, a startup focused growth catalyst bridging ideas and money. The deal was solely advised and syndicated by ah! Ventures and led to closure on its private equity investment platform, CLUBah.com.
AHA Taxis was founded in April 2015 by Amit Grover (ex-Infosys, Asian Paints, Onida, IIT-IIM alumnus), along with Praveen Samariya (ex-Times Internet, IIT alumnus), Kunal Krishna(ex-Headstrong, Copper Mobile), Kumar Arayan (ex-Swiggy, Askmebazar, NIIT) and Shivam Mishra (ex-Crazzy, college dropout). The team complements each other on several fronts of technology, operations and marketing, all of which are critical to success in the outstation taxi sector in India.
AHA Taxis helps travellers save cost on outstation travel by charging only for actual KMs travelled. Traditionally in Indian road travel, the taxi owners charge a return fare from customers even for one way trips, as they are not assured of passengers on return journey. AHA Taxis provides service in 100+ cities currently and is expanding to another 100 cities by mid-2016. Customers can book an AHA Taxi by going on the website (www.ahataxis.com) as well as mobile app available on android playstore.
AHA Taxis has served outstation trips across 100+ cities for thousands of happy customers. AHA acts as an online bridge between drivers and customers offering significant value addition – it charges the customers for only one way trips rather than double fare for pick and drops. The drivers get a matching customer for their journeys instead of going empty, which enables them to earn more without extra investment.
Amit Grover further elucidated, “Taxi sector has been developing by leaps and bounds in India, with OLA and Uber serving local travel, we felt that there is a gap in outstation travel which needs to be addressed by using technology and marketing. Our brand promise is to make taxis affordable, easily available and focus on customer safety – something none of the past and present players have been able to solve simultaneously at scale. After last few months of discovering our product market fit, we felt the need for investments to grow and Ah! Ventures has come in at the right time to support us in this venture.”
The company plans to use the funds raised by investing equally in technology, marketing and operations. Having an asset light model, the company can efficiently scale up capabilities on consumer and vendor support side. Currently the company is clocking almost 100% month on month growth on all metrics, and with angel investors backing, aim to achieve 10x growth within a year.
AHA Taxis plan to expand to newer geographies, with a focus on tier 2/3 towns, and start coverage of non-tourism sector beyond usual routes like Delhi to Jaipur, Agra, Haridwar and Chandigarh. AHA Taxis intelligent technology coupled with human acumen will help the company cater to the long tail of the consumer demand. In long term, AHA Taxis’ vision is to provide an alternate to Indian Railways!
Giving an investor perspective, Harshad Lahoti, Founder & CEO of ah! Ventures, said, “Taxi aggregators typically don’t own any cabs or employ drivers; they connect customers with drivers through a tech platform, the front-end for the customer being an app. Big money is making its way into this sector. According to the Association of Radio Taxi India, the taxi business in the country is growing at 20 to 25 per cent a year. The organised taxi sector accounts for just four to five per cent of the industry and totals $800 million. It is expected to grow to $7 billion by 2020. Revenues for taxi services providers are expected to grow at a CAGR of about 25% during 2014-19. Also, over the last decade, the consumer base in India is moving from a price sensitive mind-set to a convenience-first mind-set fuelling further demand for such services.
Our Investment is AHA Taxis is at the opportune time as we believe strongly in the potential of the business in India. We are extremely confident of the team led by Amit and had no second thoughts on wanting to be early investors in AHA Taxis. We are assured of their service offering & technology and also their ability to create significant shareholder value.”
This deal was concluded through ah! Ventures’ private equity investment platform, CLUB ah!. CLUB ah! is India’s first full-spectrum startup investment network and platform comprising of over 550+ investors, including some of the renowned angels and early-stage VCs. CLUB ah! platform today has over 5000+ startups, 475+ seed/angel investors and over 75 VCs & institutional investors, making it one of the largest platform of investors and startups. The network also recently secured its first profitable exit from Ed-tech venture Harness Handitouch within 2 years of its investment. CLUB ah! has till date invested close to INR 60 crores in over 20 startups spread across varied industries and domains, including AHA Taxis.
ah! Ventures is in the process of closing 3 more deals in the coming weeks.