Jugnoo, an Uber-esque app for motorized rickshaws in India, today announced that it has raised US$3 million in series B funding. The round was led by mobile wallet and previous investor, PayTM. Kunal Shah, CEO of mobile top-ups site Freecharge, also invested in the round.
Jugnoo currently has three apps – Jugnoo Auto, Jugnoo Meals, and Jugnoo Fatafat. Together, Jugnoo allows users to instantly hail auto rickshaws, order home-cooked meals, and get groceries delivered to their homes. All of the startup’s services are completed by auto rickshaws. It claims to have more than 3,300 “autos” – as they’re known in India – enlisted on its platform.
In September, Jugnoo acquired Bistro Offers, a restaurant discovery app, and Yelo, a services marketplace. It also acquired cab aggregator BookMyCab back in July. It is currently operational in 22 cities and hopes to expand to 40 by the end of the year.
Jugnoo bets on cheap logistics
Jugnoo has tons of competitors in India. Ola Cabs and Uber both provide on-demand transportation cabs and autos, and the former claims to have over 77,000 signed up drivers. Grocery delivery giant Grofers has raised US$46 million, and another competitor, BigBasket, has seen over US$85 million in funding.
As for on-demand food deliveries, Ola has already attempted to enter the space with Ola Cafe. The service marks what feels like the millionth attempt at cracking on-demand food delivery in the country.
After food-tech startup Dazo shut down in October, however, founder Shashaank Singhal explained to Business Standard that a new breed of frugal startups were necessary to handle logistics well.
It seems that using the country’s massive fleet of inexpensive, existing auto rickshaws and skilled drivers for both passenger transport and logistics will be the key to Jugnoo’s success.
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