Meru Cabs raises $25 million from Times Group, looking to expand further

Don’t underestimate the power of a…Meru Cab. India’s only profit making taxi services company has recently raised around $25 million from Brand Capital, the investment arm of Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd (BCCL), the same group that publishes the Times of India newspaper.

As per the official statement, the money will be used to strengthen the company’s foothold in the country’s domestic taxi-hailing market, increase brand awareness via advertising and promotions, and widen its customer segment.

“With the ongoing transformation in the taxi industry, this move is in line with the company's efforts to showcase its services to a larger customer segment via a bouquet of media channels,” said Siddhartha Pahwa, CEO, Meru Cabs.

Since May 2015, when Meru last raised $50 million from its existing investor India Value Fund Advisors (IVFA), it has expanded its taxi service to 24 new cities, launched four new products and expanded its fleet size to over 20,000 vehicles.

Meru entered the highly-competitive online taxi-hailing market back in 2007 when the Maharashtra government invited tenders for GPS-linked electronically metered cab for 10,000 cabs in 2006.

Headquartered in Mumbai, Meru Cabs was launched with a mere 45 taxis back in 2007. It expanded operations to three cities in 2008, namelyDelhi, Hyderabad and Bengaluru, and followed it up with two more - Jaipur and Ahmedabad in 2013 and Chennai in 2015.

India’s organized taxi-hailing market currently stands at over $1.2 billion, and is expected to touch $15 billion by 2022. This enormous opportunity at hand has led to a bitter price war between the likes of Uber and Ola.

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(Disclaimer: Business Insider India is a part of Times Internet Limited, the online arm of Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd)
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