Mumbai based Meru Cabs, a taxi service company, today announced that it has raised USD 25 million (INR 150 crore) in fresh round of funding from Brand Capital, the investment arm of Bennett, Coleman and Co (BCCL).
Meru plans to use the capital to further strengthen its foothold in the Indian market. It’s primary focus will be to provide quality service based on a sustainable business model, it said in a statement.
“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,” Siddhartha Pahwa, CEO, Meru Cabs said.
This would mean that Meru will get free advertisements and promotions on BCCL’s various media properties including the country’s largest English daily by readership The Times of India, The Economic Times and news channels Times Now and ET Now.
Innovation in services and building robust technology processes has been the focus for Meru in the last year, he further added.
Meru Cabs last raised USD 50 million (Rs 300 crore) in May 2015 from its existing investor, India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA). It has used that fund to expand service to 24 additional cities and has launched four unique services. Meru Cabs has grown its fleet size to 20,000 vehicles, according to the statement.
The main aim of Meru is to organize these funds primarily to increase brand salience and brand awareness along with the widening of its customer base, it added.
The country’s organized taxi-hailing market at USD 1.2 billion (INR 7,900 crore), is estimated to reach USD 15 billion (INR 1 lakh crore) by year 2022, according to industry estimates.
Introducing a service based on shared economy, Meru was the first taxi player to introduce the Carpool service in October. Meru Cabs also integrated its cab booking system with Facebook Messenger to provide automated cab booking facility recently.
Meru has also launched a specialized service for differently abled and elderly commuters called ‘Meru Enable’ via spacious and disability equipped vehicles and trained drivers.