This Start-up Is Looking To Make Office Commute Easier For Employees
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Daily commute to office continues to remain a time-consuming affair for most employees. Every day, jostling with the crowd in public transports or spending huge sums to afford comfortable cab ride consumes half of the energy of office workers.
This relatable problem has a quick and easy solution—carpooling. In this, people going in the same direction or destination share vehicle. This method not only saves time and money but also ensures that lesser number of vehicles run on the road.
Founded in 2014, Bengaluru-based Quick Ride offers carpooling and bikepooling application which connects commuters travelling in the same direction in real time. It not only makes the hassle of commute easier for users but is also a pocket friendly option.
Story Behind Launching Quick Ride
Speaking with Entrepreneur India, co-founder K.N.M. Rao said the inspiration for launching Quick Ride came to him while he was working at Huawei. During his stint with the company, he noticed that his colleagues faced parking issues. At the same time, several other colleagues had to wait for a long time for office cabs.
He explained that while several colleagues had the same destination, there was a hesitation among them to seek life or offer rides. That is when Rao got the idea to come up with fully automated carpooling system.
“I thought that there can be a dynamic application which can help people coming from the same place to connect and they can share a vehicle,” Rao said.
Following this, Rao along with his co-founder Shobhana B.N. began researching the carpooling segment and found that while several companies came up in this space, they failed to succeed.
Debunking The Notion That Carpool Won’t Work In India
After several start-ups failed to succeed, several reports claimed that carpooling model will not work in India. Rao explained the reason behind what was lacking among the industry players.
“I could identify two main reasons. One is the technology as it is not really automating the carpooling process. Many people were willing to carpool, but they don't want to take the hassle to coordinate. Secondly, carpooling model works differently where people going to the same direction coordinate for ride sharing. Thus the marketing needs to be done differently. It requires much bigger scale and better strategy for marketing and communication,” said Rao.
How Quick Ride Did Things Differently
Rao explained that Quick Ride automates the entire process of carpooling and makes communication easier among users. Both carpool givers and riders can connect using the app and communicate via the messaging feature.
In terms of marketing, Rao explained the company did not opt for B2C model rather it works on B2B2C model. Under this, the team reached out to companies such as Wipro, Cognizant and explained their model to the workers and encouraged them for carpooling.
Quick Ride claims to have over 3 million users in India where 57 per cent users are women. It also claimed to have completed more than 30 million carpool rides till date. He also explained that women users are also allowed to check who will ride with them in a particular ride so that they can decide if they want to opt for it.
When asked about Quick Ride’s revenue model, Rao explained that Quick Ride deducts 6 per cent from the payment transaction between the rider and carpool giver. There is no registration fee involved for either riders or carpool givers. For instance, one rider takes a carpool ride and the bill is INR 50, then Quick Ride takes 6 per cent of the money given to the carpool giver.
Investments and Challenges
The Sequoia- and Naspers-backed start-up faced several challenges while raising funds initially and was bootstrapped for three long years. Rao said since several players had earlier failed to succeed, the investors were wary of investing in Quick Ride. However, when the start-up reached 15,000 carpool rides per day, Sequoia got interested in the business.
Earlier this year, media reports said the company raised INR 100.78 crore in Series B funding round from its existing investors Sequoia, Naspers and Venture Highway. It raised an undisclosed amount of in Series A funding from the same investors in 2018.