Indian taxi booking app RISES to occasion to take PITCH accolade
The second iteration of the RISE conference in Hong Kong has come to a close and an Indian startup has walked away with the coveted award for best Pitch. Anshuman Mihir and Mohit Rajpal of My Taxi India (MTI) were called on stage by RISE and Web Summit co-founder Paddy Cosgrave and Casey Lau of Startups.hk.
The competition has seen 60 startups compete on two stages over the three day event to win the title. The Delhi-based startup went head to head with two others in the final – TripInsiders, which pairs up travellers with locals for a unique insight into destinations including Singapore and Taipei; and SVET, a health orientated LED bulb.
Speaking to Jumpstart fresh off the stage, the MTI team said that the award will have a big impact on them because they are in the process of raising funds. Not only that but “it will boost the confidence of current investors” and is confirmation “that they are doing something right”.
MTI was founded in 2012 after the co-founders went to a conference in Hyderabad and had a nightmare booking taxis. They decided to create a mobile app for booking inter-city taxi journeys, setting themselves apart from the likes of Uber.
Last summer, MTI raised $500,000 in pre-Series A funding from Nihon Kotsu Co, Japan's largest taxi company. This followed a $100,000 investment from Green House Ventures.
MTI currently operates in 119 cities but is hoping to increase this to 150 by the end of the year, and is also looking beyond India to Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Mihir and Rajpal say that the business model will remain the same but there will have to be some tweaks to their T&Cs to reflect the regulations in the different countries.
The RISE team reports that there were 8,144 attendees from 88 countries at this year’s event. The Dublin-based team is now heading home to prepare for Web Summit, which takes place in Lisbon in November.
Katie Scott is the former News Editor of Wired.co.uk in London. Now living in Hong Kong, she has written about everything from 3D nature documentaries to nanosatellites to the ramifications of Edward Snowden's brief visit to the SAR, but is driven to find stories on innovation and innovators of any kind.