Exclusive: Autorickshaw aggregator Jugnoo targets up to $100m Series C, plans overseas foray

Chinmay Aggarwal, CTO & Co Founder, Jugnoo

Chandigarh-based SoCoMo Technologies Pvt. Ltd., which operates autorickshaw aggregator, Jugnoo, is ready to accelerate its growth for which it will soon hit the market for Series C round of funding.

The company plans to raise between $50-100 million to fuel its expansion plans.

“We will soon start our market show, and are targeting to close the planned round, which will be used to expand into newer markets, in the next three to four months,” said Chinmay Aggarwal, co-founder and chief technology officer, Jugnoo, in an interview with DEALSTREETASIA.

“We have achieved operating efficiencies much better than what our competitors are doing at this point of time, and we burn lesser money to gain market share as compared to competitors. That is quite lucrative for investors who come in,” Aggarwal said.

Only last month, Jugnoo closed a $10 million Series B funding round led by mobile payments and commerce platform Paytm (One97 Communications Pvt. Ltd). Apart from Paytm, which invested $5 million, existing investor Snow Leopard Technology Ventures and Rocketship.vc, a new investor, also participated.

Launched in November 2014, Jugnoo — co-founded by Aggarwal and Samar Singla — had raised $5 million in Series A funding from Snow Leopard and Paytm in July last year.

Other investors in the company include Rakesh Mathur, CEO of Flywheel and co-founder of Junglee (acquired by Amazon.in), actor Saumya Tandon, angel investor Vikas Taneja and Just Weil, an investor in Facebook and Yandex-who participated in earlier rounds.

Jugnoo plans to add 12 more cities to its 30-city network in the next three to four months in India. It is also in talks to expand its reach in the overseas market.

“We have plans to go overseas, and we have been in touch for the last one year with a lot of different cities who are sort of interested in running their own transportation business,” Aggarwal said adding that they looking at markets in the  APAC region, European Union as well as Africa. “We are looking at both options whether to go standalone or to tie up with a partner.”

Jugnoo’s biggest competitor is transport aggregation giant Ola, which claims to have 100,000 autorickshaws on its network in 24 cities as compared to 10,000 autos that Jugnoo offers across 30 cities. Global giant Uber had also launched its autorickshaw aggregation service, which fizzled out.

Re-entry into the hyperlocal business

At a time when questions are being raised around hyperlocal delivery companies with the closure of PepperTap and Grofers scaling down operations, Jugnoo has relaunched its hyperlocal delivery called Fatafat.

In its first attempt, the startup had introduced hyperlocal grocery delivery in March last year, but withdrew after eight months due to lack of adequate supply to cater to demands at that scale.

Under the latest model, the company will deliver vegetables and fruits at customers’ door-steps using the company’s’ network of auto-rickshaws. Jugnoo will buy the product from Mandi and store it at their warehouse. The products will then be delivered by auto-rickshaw drivers who are not busy ferrying passengers. The service is currently available in Chandigarh and will be soon be launched in Gurgaon.

Aggarwal said the company was doing about 100-150 transactions daily at present, and offers fruit and vegetable delivery right now. That will be expanded to include more niche categories, which have a demand in the market.

Talking about the other hyperlocal delivery players that are struggling Aggarwal said, “as market economics work, only the best survive. The market invariably weed out the players which are not very efficient in their structure. As of now in a transactional manner we are unit economics positive and as we scale it up over time, the revenue and profit will also increase,” he added.

To strengthen its hyperlocal delivery service offering Jugnoo has also acquired another startup ‘SabKuchFresh’ to augment procurement and logistics functions of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The company is scouting for more such acquisitions that will help to augment the service. “We tend to acquire companies which are small in size and add a different value from the profitability perspective, or the people that they have, or that they have cracked a problem in a certain different areas, which is unique in its sense,” Aggarwal said.

Last year, Jugnoo had acquired two companies – restaurant discovery app Bistro Offers and mobile-only services marketplace Yelo.Red.

The firm also announced the acquisition of taxi aggregator BookMyCab last year, however the deal fell through and BookMyCab was recently acquired by Wings Travels.

Jugnoo, which has not aggressively marketed itself yet, plans to opt for guerrilla marketing, which gives you higher returns at lower cost, said Aggarwal. “We are trying to optimise our channels a lot. You won’t see any TV or news paper ads from us any time soon but you will see us on a lot of unconventional platforms and social media,” he added.

Also Read:

India: Jugnoo raises $10m in funding round led by Paytm

India: Autorickshaw aggregator Jugnoo raises $5.5m from Paytm, Snow Leopard Ventures

India VC Dealbook: Ankur Capital invests in Skillveri; Jugnoo acquires Bistro Offers, Yelo.Red; XSTOK gets funds from Oliphans Capital

 

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.