Aravind Sanka, co-founder of Rapido.
Aravind Sanka, co-founder of Rapido.

Bike taxi firm Rapido acqui-hires analytics startup Vahanalytics

  • Vahanalytics aims to promote safe driving behaviour among drivers and fleet owners by utilizing sensor data
  • The acqui-hire was finalized using a cash and stock component split between the Vahanalytics founders and investors

BENGALURU : Bike taxi app Rapido has acqui-hired Mumbai-based Vahanalytics, a data analytics startup that allows organizations to track their vehicle fleet operations, according to the company’s filings with the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA), sourced from business information platform Paper.vc.

The value of the deal was undisclosed. However, a person aware of the deal told Mint that the acqui-hire was finalized using a cash and stock component split between the Vahanalytics founders and investors. The person asked not to be named.

“The acqui-hire structure is unusual. Typically in stock deals in India, the investors of the target company receive shares in the acquirer. In this case Thinqbate-backed Vahanalytics has been allotted approximately 5 million in shares pursuant to a term sheet," said Vivek Durai, chief executive of Paper.vc, in a statement.

Vahanalytics, owned by Urbtranz Technologies Pvt. Ltd was founded in early 2016 by BITS Pilani graduates Shivalik Sen, Arun Gandhi, Nikhil Tavora and Someshwar Dash. The startup aims to promote safe driving behaviour among drivers and fleet owners by utilizing sensor data from smartphones and from tracking hardware in-built into vehicles.

The Mumbai-based startup had secured $200,000 ( 1.3 crore) in seed funding from Venture Catalysts in May 2016. It also signed a one-year pact with Adani Group in 2017 for tracking vehicles deployed in Gujarat’s Mundra port.

The Vahanalaytics platform tracks vehicular data such as driving speeds, acceleration, stops, fuel and other driving behaviour that can be linked to the driver. This data is then used to rate the driver’s driving behaviour and to suggest safer driving methods.

Bengaluru-based Rapido’s acqui-hire of Vahanalytics comes at a time when the bike taxi firm was reportedly in talks to raise around $50 million in a round led by domestic investment firm Westbridge Capital and China’s Shunwei Capital. Mint reported last week that if the deal went through, Rapido could be valued at over $200 million.

“The Vahanalytics founding team has been onboarded to set up the data science department of Rapido. The entire tech team of Vahanalytics has been moved to Rapido to set up the data science department. The team has moved to Bengaluru for the same reason," said Aravind Sanka, co-founder of Rapido, in an emailed reply.

Rapido operates bike taxis in 13 cities primarily in south India, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mysuru, and a few cities in the north and east such as Patna and Bhubaneswar.

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