Entrepreneurship News & Startups

InstaCar raises funding from Uber’s First Investor

Written by Medhaavi Mishra
  • InstaCar was launched in 2016
  • Previously, the outstation cab aggregator raised $1 Mn
  • The company was one of the companies in Techstars Bengaluru Accelerator

Outstation cab aggregator InstaCar has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Techstars Cofounder David Cohen, who had previously invested in the US-based ride-hailing service Uber.

Previously InstaCar had raised $1 Mn in seed funding from Hong Kong-based Swastika Co Ltd, within a year of its launch in 2016. Back then, the company had also claimed to have on-boarded 500 taxis in Madhya Pradesh, within two months of its launch.

InstaCar was one of the 10 companies shortlisted in Colorado-based Techstars’ second accelerator programme held in Bengaluru this year. David Cohen is one of the founding members of the Techstars, along with David Brown, Brad Feld and Jared Polis. The platform, which is said to be the largest accelerator in the world, was founded in 2006.

Our objective was not just to create a platform where people would book cars to go out of town. There were still some practical challenges with outstation car bookings. The drivers would turn up unkempt or their behaviour would not be to the customers. Taxis were lacking basic requirements such as roof carrier for luggage, luggage capacity to travel with 4+ passengers. We decided to solve this problem by having a very strict onboarding process for drivers and vehicles to ensure that they are easy to communicate to because in parts of India the drivers speak the local dialect and not hindi or english, which becomes a problem during outstation travel ” shares Co-founder Ishan Vyas.

“Outstation Taxi rentals is a big business. But there is a scarcity of options. You only have two large players in the market who mainly call the shots in terms of pricing, quality or the mode of booking. We believe we need to reach out to a larger percentage of people and provide the assurance of the chauffeur driven car arriving because our optimisations directly blocks a driver for the booking for the specific time and this has resulted in 100% delivery rate from our end,” adds Co-founder Priyanshi Choubey. The founders are of the firm belief that the combination of features, all at a relatively competitive price points has helped them earn more customers past year.

Missed flight? Get next flight tickets free
In a crowded taxi market, InstaCar offers interesting deals and packages to make the life of travellers easier. For instance, travellers can book airport rides throughout Bengaluru in a chauffeur-driven car in a fixed price of just Rs 999/-. This offer comes with a clause that if the customer missed the flight due to InstaCar’s delay, the startup would pay the customer a one-way flight ticket to the next destination.

Astha Shukla, a regular customer of InstaCar airport rides says “ I booked Instacar on my round trip to the airport and contrary to my idea of how much can a cab service be different, it really was a 9/10 on promptness and 10/10 on chauffeur hospitality.

Three things that InstaCar provides better than other cab services:

  • Safe for solo travelling at odd hours
  • Best quality car and hospitable chauffeur
  • Very reasonable rates

About InstaCar

Instacar, founded by Ishan Vyas and Priyanshi Chaubey in 2016, is a transportation startup that allows users to hail intercity taxi services. Knowing customer’s reservations about intercity cab rides, the company claims to give a special focus on user safety, reliability and quality of the car and service. It has also created a complete execution book for providing service with a 100% compliance with safety and reliability standards.

The Indore-based company took a bottom-up approach by training and educating the drivers to improve the passenger experience. Moreover, it has adopted a strict onboarding process for drivers and vehicles, taking into consideration the language they speak in.ADVERTISEMENT

The company also provide school pickup and drop services for the children of expat and high networth individuals (HNIs), among other services. The transportation startup has also claimed to have more than 30K registered users and now and plans to expand its services even further into the cities it is operating in.

The Competition In The Outstation Cab Service

Other startups in this domain include AHA TaxisInstacab and Savaari.com, among others. In December 2018, the Noida-based AHA taxis was acquired by the enterprise software and ecommerce services EbixCash for an undisclosed amount.

The biggest entrant in the cab-hailing service is Bengaluru-based cab-hailing service giant Ola, which launched its Ola Outstation in 2016. In August 2019, the company announced that it has covered over 10K destinations across India, accounting for more than 1.1 Cr miles, in just Independence Day weeken

Article by Inc 42

About the author

Medhaavi Mishra