Mumbai-based JustRide, a car rental start-up that allows people to lease out their personal vehicles, has secured $3 million in a bridge round from a group of global investors as well as a trio of Y Combinator partners.
It has raised money from San Francisco-based Susa Ventures, London’s Kima Ventures, Axan Ventures and SCM Holdings, as well as Japan’s IT-Farm, the company said in a statement.
The Y-combinator investors are partner Justin Kan of Justin.tv and Twitch fame, Qasar Younis (Y Combinator chief operating officer) and Paul Buccheit, who was the lead developer of Gmail.
The fresh capital will be used to bolster JustConnect—its platform that allows people to rent out personal vehicles for a fee—and Yabber, an Internet of Things (IoT) device for cars that is based on the firm’s smart vehicle technology (SVT), it said in the note.
JustConnect helps car owners earn a rent by leasing out their vehicles. It integrates the connected car technology with micro leasing of vehicles to build a collaboratively shared fleet of cars.
The firm shifted to a car-sharing marketplace from an aggregator-based model in March this year. “By leasing their idle car, an average Indian, who earns $500 each month, can increase their income twofold. Our car- sharing platform has been received with great interest. We have added 220 cars since piloting the concept in March. We are keen on exploring our SVT which powers Yabber,” said JustRide chief executive officer Ashwarya Singh.
JustRide is working to raise another round of funding to invest in its in-house SVT.
“The challenge is to build a sustainable car–sharing model to cater to the average urban commuters, while keeping in mind the interests of the car owners, who have a depreciating asset—that is their car—and does not get any return on it,” he added.
JustRide raised $400,000 in a pre-Series A round from a group of angel investors, including Dheeraj Jain, partner at Redcliffe Capital, in March this year.
It had also raised an undisclosed sum in an angel round that saw participation by Alok Mittal of Angel India Network, Zeeshan Hayat of Toppr.com, Nikunj Jain of Frankly.me, and Outbox Ventures’ Niraj Singh, among others.
The company, mentored by Google’s ‘Launchpad Accelerator program’, was one of the three Indian companies chosen by Y-Combinator this year.
The Indian car-sharing market is poised to grow 15% every year till 2018, according to a report by market research firm Ken Research.