Indian startup Loca nabs funding from Stellaris, Fosun, others

Photo: Reuters

Loca, a shared last-mile connectivity provider in Bengaluru, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its first round of investment led by Stellaris Venture Partners, China-based Fosun RZ Capital and a group of individuals including Aprameya Radhakrishna (co-founder of Taxiforsure), Mayank Bidawatka (co-founder of Vokal) and Rohit MA (co-founder of Cloud Nine).

While Loca did not disclose the amount raised, a person close to the development, who did not wish to be identified, said the start-up raised sub $5 million in this round.

Loca launched its services in April 2019 and is founded by Gautam Patil and Krishnakumar Ramachandran. They conducted field trials for over nine months to develop Loca’s proprietary ride-sharing algorithm before launching the service.

The company says the motorized micro-mobility market in India is approximately 100 million trips per day but is largely underserved, unreliable and unaffordable. In a bid to address this gap, Loca has set up local networks of shared mobility using a mixed fleet of minivans and cars which are dynamically routed based on real-time demand.

“Making shared mobility work reliably at scale while keeping it affordable and convenient is a massive technology problem. We spent many months building the dynamic routing algorithm. The average Loca user gets into a cab within 2.5 minutes of getting out of the metro, even in peak hours. The specificity and volume of data from our operations opens many possibilities to improve further on this. We are confident the value at our price point can help us build a large scale across India,” said Gautam Patil, co-founder of Loca, in a statement.

Loca currently operates from four metro stations in Bengaluru–Indiranagar, Yelachenahalli, Mysore Road and Vijaynagar.

“We view micro-mobility transit as a massive and largely unsolved problem in almost all cities in India. In China, we have witnessed new-age micro-mobility solutions being adopted by citizens at a rapid pace with millions of rides being taken daily. Fosun’s portfolio company Hellobike has showcased the huge scale and adoption and we believe Loca can be at the forefront in India,” said Tej Kapoor, co-executive president of Fosun RZ Capital.

Loca will use the funds to expand its presence to all major metro stations in Bengaluru and further build its tech and operations teams. It plans to expand to multiple cities including New Delhi by early next year.

The article was first reported on Livemint.com

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.

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.