Loca, a shared last mile connectivity provider in Bengaluru, announced their 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 M A (co-founder of Cloud Nine).
Loca launched its services in April 2019 and is founded by Gautam Patil and Krishnakumar Ramachandran.
The motorised micro mobility market in India is approximately 100 million trips per day but is largely underserved. Loca addresses this gap by setting up local networks of shared mobility using a mixed fleet of minivans and cars which are dynamically routed based on real-time demand.
Loca currently operates from four metro stations in Bengaluru – Indiranagar, Yelachenahalli, Mysore Road and Vijaynagar – and offers comfortable air-conditioned shared rides at less than the price of an auto rickshaw ride.
“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 and the initial results are very encouraging. 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.
Wilson Jin, Chairman of Fosun RZ Capital, said "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."
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 while continuing to expand its presence in Bangalore.
“As a frequent user of the Bangalore metro, I am dismayed by the contrast between the 21st century experience during the metro ride and the 19th century chaos when you exit the station. Loca offers unmatched convenience and speed to metro users, and as a result a full 40% of their users take a ride daily, on average. Such strong customer loyalty is rare in an early stage startup, and makes Loca a compelling investment opportunity”, said Ritesh Banglani, partner at Stellaris.