Bengaluru: Rapido has launched an hourly rental service in Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata and Jaipur, as the two-wheeler taxi platform looks to tap into the changing needs of customers following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The company will offer fixed-rate services starting at Rs 99 per hour for up to six hours. This is expected to allow customers to run multiple errands on a single trip, help limit their exposure to multiple drivers and avoid multiple bookings.

“We are the only player in this space to launch the first-of-its-kind service. As customer needs grow, people doing multiple bookings can actually shift to this model,” said Aravind Sanka, cofounder of Rapido, which found that customers were using bike taxis as they were wary of using public transport or other modes of transport such as autos and cabs.

The rental service is also expected to benefit customers who travel to far-flung areas within the city, where bike taxis and other modes of transport are not easily available during their return journeys.

“Being a vertical-focused player in the ride hailing space, we need to innovate and come up with new products to serve different customer needs,” Sanka said.

Rapido said it currently operates at 75% of pre-Covid-19 levels in terms of rides, with bike taxis clocking among the best recoveries compared to various ride hailing formats.

Sanka said the first three months of the pandemic saw business at a standstill, forcing the company to innovate and enter into the B2B logistics space through partnerships with food delivery app Swiggy and other e-commerce players. It also launched courier services to compensate for the drop in business.

Currently, logistics drives 20% of Rapido’s revenue, and is expected to remain at the same levels even after the full recovery of its service, which is expected to happen in the next 2-3 months. The logistics service has helped improve unit economics while also reducing idle time of riders on its platform.





News Of India

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