Meru Cabs launches CarPool service in India
Cab operator Meru Cab Co. Pvt. Ltd on Tuesday said it has launched a new ride-sharing service, called CarPool, for its customers across India. The firm, which had started as a taxi operator in 2007, moved to a taxi aggregator model in 2012 and has now entered the car pooling segment that is estimated by Meru at $15 billion.
“The top 20 cities alone have over 12 million cars and the opportunity is to bring them on a popular and trusted platform like Meru. The CarPool initiative aims to encourage a simple act of reducing the one-person per vehicle issue through a communal effort of sharing a ride with another person headed in the same direction while offering convenience and economy of travel,” said chief executive Siddhartha Pahwa.
While Ola and Uber are competing in the cab service market in India, other start-ups in the car pooling space include MoveInSync Technology Solutions Pvt. Ltd that raised venture debt from InnoVen Capital in July, PoolCircle and Let’s Ride. International companies like Brazil-based Tripda and French company Blah Blah cars entered the Indian market this year, which is still fragmented and in the nascent stage.
According to recent survey undertaken by Regus, a global workplace solutions provider, 26% of commuters in India spend over 90 minutes per day travelling to work and meetings. In addition, about 16% of all commuters drive to work on their own and on average, 67% of respondents drive to work using their car, thus indicating the huge potential for carpooling among commuters.
Carpooling service providers would have to submit details of their driving licence and Aadhaar unique identity number for verification and would sign in through their Facebook accounts. Users can use the Meru cab app to know the availability of cars. Pricing would determined by the service provider varying on the type of the car and the distance travelled. “We have a tied up with Paytm and all transactions would have to be through the wallet,” added Pahwa.
The company said it has received over 5,000 applications from service providers.