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What Made BCCL Back Meru Cabs When Funding Drying Up Pioneering the concept of GPS/GPRS enabled cab service in India.

By Samiksha Jain

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Whenever you think of going out, what is the first thing which strikes to your mind? Book a cab. Yes, this is exactly what you think when it comes to hangout. Today cabs services have made our life so easy that for small little things we depend on them.

And who founded this concept? It's none other than your own Meru Cabs who launched its service in Mumbai in April 2007 in association with India Value Fund. They have pioneered the concept of GPS/GPRS enabled cab service in India.

Today, Meru cabs has announced that it has raised a new round of funding of Rs.150 crore from Brand Capital, the investment arm of Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL).

The company plans to utilize this these funds to further strengthen its foothold in the Indian market with a focus on providing quality service based on a sustainable business model.

Speaking on the current investment, Shrenik M Khasgiwala, Director, Brand Capital said, "Meru's profitable and growing business, strong technology, and analytics-driven platform complemented by an experienced management team were strong and attractive determinants to partner with the company in this high growth consumer-facing industry. We are confident that this partnership will help accelerate the process of creating the requisite brand positioning as well as awareness for customers who are present across mediums/platforms like Print, OOH, digital, social media etc."

With the aim of widening its customer base, the venture will be deploying these funds primarily to increase brand salience and brand awareness.

Meru's efforts in creating a taxi segment that caters to the evolving transport needs of common people have led to several services in the industry that have redefined the ecosystem.

"Meru has been working on a sustainable business model since its inception and has grown its operations across cities as well as continued to provide varied services. With the ongoing transformation in the taxi industry, this move is in line with the company's efforts to showcase its services to a larger customer segment via a bouquet of media channels," said Siddhartha Pahwa, CEO, Meru Cabs.

Meru receives over 70 per cent of its booking from its mobile app. Integrating its booking system with Facebook's Messenger Bot, Meru now has access to a national platform to connect with millions of customers.

If we look at the figures India's organised taxi-hailing market is presently at Rs. 7,900 crore which is estimated to reach Rs. 1 lac crore by year 2022 presenting an enormous opportunity for growth in the Indian market.

Since May 2015, when Meru last raised Rs.300crore (USD 50 million) from its existing investor India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA), India's pioneering taxi service has expanded to 24 additional cities, launched four unique services, and grown its fleet size to 20,000 vehicles.

Samiksha Jain

Feature Writer,

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