LiveMinds Solutions, which owns and operates radio taxi booking service bookmycab.com , is scouting for fresh capital, and has entered into talks with a number of venture capital firms, a development that highlights the continuing interest of risk capital in the broader taxi and car rental space.
The company is in talks to raise equity-linked funding of up to Rs 40 crore, and expects to close a potential transaction by April later this year, according Avinash Gupta, chief executive, LiveMinds Solutions.
Mumbai-based investment bank Elara Capital has been appointed to run the mandate. “The sector is growing at a healthy rate, and given our positioning in the market, we felt it was the right time to go for a new round of funding,” Gupta adds.
In July 2012, LiveMinds had secured funding of about Rs 5 crore from Your-Nest Angel Fund and the Mumbai Angels. The existing investors, who are believed to own between 25% and 30% of the company, will also participate in the new round.
LiveMinds will use the proceeds from the new round to expand its operations outside Mumbai. Currently, the company operates about 3,500 taxis, under licence from Maharashtra’s State Transport Corporation , in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA), which, by itself, is the most lucrative market in the country for taxi operators.
By end-2014,Gupta expects Bookmycab to operate about 5,000 taxis, and will launch in the other Metro s and tier-2 cities. Founded by IIT alumni Gupta, JS Nimbalkar and Raviraj Jain in 2010, the company differs from its peers by offering bookings for regular as well as private-owned cabs, at regular meter prices.