In the era of Uber, car rental firms are having the rethink how they operate, when they are the best option, what they offer that Uber can't and where they need to deploy their inventory.
India's MindYourFleet believes it has all the answers. It has a proprietary cloud-based based platform which helps car rental firms address all these issues and more - from distributing inventory via OTAs to fleet management via back-office accounting and consumer-facing apps.
Before its Q&A, here's a 90-second video interview with CEO Karambir Singh.
What problem does your business solve?
Mind Your Fleet (MYF) primarily solves the low asset utilization problem in the ground transportation industry.
At any given time almost 30-40% of a vendor’s inventory is lying unutilized. Moreover, most vendors in India lack in-house technology to service customer expectations of an Uber-grade user interface for bookings.
MYF provides an end-to-end technology solution for a car rental company to manage not only their operations but also their retail and corporate customers in a seamless manner.
At the heart of our product is our proprietary B2B marketplace that lets fleet owners access each other’s inventory in real time and connect with several demand side players such as OTAs, corporates or hotels. Inventory is integrated onto our platform thus promoting higher utilization and cross utilization of assets.
Names of founders, their management roles, and number of full-time paid staff?
Our total team size is 35+ and our senior management team includes:
- Malvinder Singh Rikhy - co-founder
- Jitender Arora - co-founder
- Karambir Singh - CEO
- Rajesh Arya - CTO
- Ashad U. Hassan - CPO (chief product officer).
We have recently closed our Angel round of funding. Currently, we’re in advanced talks with several potential investors for our Series A round.
We charge a one-time set up fee and a fixed fee/percentage fee per transaction which varies by booking type.
Why do you think the pain point you’re solving is painful enough that customers are willing to pay for your solution?
The Indian car rental/taxi services space is a $9bn a year market, of which $8.5bn is unorganised. It is undergoing a seismic transformation. The unorganised players desperately need to collaborate rather than compete to stay relevant in the new reality of an asset light world.
MYF’s technology facilitates collaboration seamlessly by giving unorganized players the tools to automate all their business processes and make the best decision about how to use their assets for every ride booking they get.
The proof is in the numbers – we have 50+ paying customers, a majority of whom have more than doubled their transaction volumes within three months of becoming customers. For example, one of our customers, Metro Cabs, did 1200 transactions in July when we on boarded them, and in September they clocked over 3000 transactions.
$1.8m+ of transactions processed
More than 8K+ corporate traveller and 22K+ retail traveller completed rides using MYF
We are the third travel startup for our co-founder Jitender Arora, while Malvinder Singh Rikhy has more than 25 years of experience in the travel space, including time as CEO of Kouni Business Travel.
MYF won the Best Disruptive Transport/Travel Startup at the 1st Annual Indian Startup Entrepreneurship and Disruptive Innovation Awards for Emerging Startups
With so much talk in the wider online travel sector around door-to-door or multi-modal or total trip, car rentals are having their moment in the spotlight. The fact that Priceline Group is playing in the space in a B2C and B2B context with rentalcars.com and rentalcarsconnect.com respectively is a sign that car rentals are part of the main cast rather than one of the extras.
MindYourFleet's proposition also resonates in a market where Uber and Ola are heavily active and even more heavily funded. Transportation is clearly an area of interest for investors, and MYF is building up a strong customer pipeline, is generating revenues and has its own proprietary tech.
At the same time, India is embracing the global shake-up of the established norms of motor vehicle ownership and usage - as well as aforementioned Uber/Ola axis there are lots of local rivals such as JustRide and ZoomCar
The Indian market is huge and technically savvy. There is enough money on the table for a number of businesses - including MYF - to exist by aggregating the fragmented and umorganised B2B car rentals space and then pushing that product out to a growing B2C corporate and leisure customer base. It is not a winner-takes-all market.