Mother of all intercity transportation Apps : Jugnoo
It starts with the search for an auto, then the argument of using the meter or settling for a price and finally the debate over the best route to take – while en route to your destination.
Unless you own a car, no matter how well your day is going, there’s one moment that is almost definitely going to be harrowing – looking for an Auto Rickshaw. Often, looking for an Auto Rickshaw expels more energy than the whole day at work.
Now imagine calling an Auto, sitting at home or in the office, at a click of a button. Wouldn’t we all be much happier, calmer people?
Samar Singla, the founder and CEO of Jugnoo – an auto rickshaw aggregator app – set out to do just that. However, because of a few failed ventures prior to Jugnoo, he did not receive much of a reaction. In fact, he says, “nobody really cared” and most people thought that his idea wouldn’t work because of the “notorious” behaviour of the drivers.
Lack of work coupled by overcharging makes things difficult for the drivers and passengers respectively. Therefore, by giving these drivers more work this problem could be solved and they would charge fairly. “It’s never easy, it is tough to change their behaviour but once you are able to show an impact on their earnings – they are open to it.”
Jugnoo’s success speaks for itself; they are already in 40 cities and is being launched in a new city almost every two weeks. Adding to that, Samar says, “In the next 12 months, our target is to get to about 100 cities.” He also plans to use these autos to set up a delivery network in India, which currently does not exist.
“We are currently focussing on tier 2 cities and are also experimenting in tier 4 towns and they have been very encouraging” Samar says, adding “There is a challenge because the markets are very small and fragmented but in smaller cities, the value of this platform is more.” Jugnoo is looking to be completely product-driven, to the point that they could be functional in small cities “without even having an employee”.
Now, after cajoling auto drivers to come on board Jugnoo, they are also looking for more female drivers to get involved in making a livelihood and more money for their family. However, Samar says “It is a cultural and social change that will take some time to come.”
There are a lot of problems to be solved here in India and Samar advises against running after solutions that one thinks venture capitalists (VCs) will fund. More than solving the problem, people focus on what VCs like and how to bring investments. Instead, focussing on the solutions will lead to the right product and problem statement.
Jugnoo, founded by Samar Singla and Chinmay Agarwal, managed to raise a total of $ 16 million in three rounds. Again in 2016, they raised a total of $ 10 million in Series-B funding with investors including Kunal Shah, Paytm, Rocketship.vc and Snow Leopard Technology Ventures amongst others.