plans to raise $6 mn in next 6 months

Representative image, the Pune-based online self-drive cab operator, is planning to raise $6 million from venture capitalists over the next six months to fund expansion into Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

"We are talking to a couple of venture capitalist funds to raise around $6 million over the next six months as we look to enter Delhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru," founder of Pinewoods Service Corporation that owns Soham Shah told PTI.

Founded as a chauffeur-driven car rental firm in 2005 by his father Shashank Shah, Soham entered the selfdrive space in 2011, making it the oldest in the segment.

SelfDrive.In, which claims to be largest in western parts of the country with 650 cars on hire, competes with larger rivals like Carzonrent and Zoomcars in the self-drvie space in the country.

Shah said his company has already attained breakeven and will be net profitable from this fiscal. He also said the company is family-owned and does not have any investors but is ready to pare his holding to an investor. But he did not elaborate as to how much he is ready to pare.

Shah said the company has just launched a new offering called 'City Drive' under which he will giving hatchbacks at a low price of Re 1 per minute for a hatchback and up to Rs 2.5 for a sedan like Honda City. The service is available in Mumbai, Pune and Goa now.

The cost includes maintenance, insurance, and 24x7 road-side assistance for both the offerings, Shah said.

He said the selfdrive industry is around $3 billion now and is slated to double to $6 billion by 2020.

His daily ridership averages around 120 in Pune and 150 in Mumbai on weekdays with weekends getting higher demand.

The City Drive offer is a for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 24 hrs, he said, adding deal comes with road-side assistance and insurance and home delivery but not oil. The borrower has to deposit an amount Rs 1,000 as security.

He also said last week the company also launched another offering for corporates called Micro Leasing under which one can lease a car for as low as Rs 12,499 for one month and a maximum for 24 months with the cost multiplying by the number of months. The service is available in Pune, Mumbai, Goa and Thane, he added.

The company owns around 25 per cent of the 650 cars and rest are aggregated out, and charges around 35% of rider charges from the car owner.

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