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Artha Venture Fund Announces New Investment Of Rs 3.50 Crore In Piggy Ride

Piggy Ride leverages technology and AI/ML tool to provide mobility solutions for schools and children.

Artha Venture Fund (AVF), India's first early-stage micro-VC fund, has invested Rs 3.50 crore in a Pre-Series A funding round in Piggy Ride, an easy to use hassle-free service for the parents of kids between 2-18 years of age. Piggy Ride leverages technology and AI/ML tool to provide mobility solutions for schools and children. It offers tuition fee financing, which allows parents to pay school fees through easy EMIs. They are also building a discovery platform for kids, developing after school activities and hobbies.  

AVF chose to invest in Piggy Ride as it addresses a significant challenge of child safety and transportation, core to most parents in urban cities. Apart from Piggy Ride's 16-point certification process, there are varied safety features in all the vehicles such as GPS trackers, cameras to provide live video surveillance to parents, panic buttons, and car immobilizers to alert the Piggy Ride team, and much more. Each driver is assigned a "Piggy Ride Score", which serves as a performance benchmark, and a deduction of 50 points on each policy violation. A driver is removed from the platform if the score falls below 600. 

It was co-founded by Manish Tewari and Rohan Kaushal in 2019. The market for mobility and a single platform solution for children is in its early stages in India and offers significant growth potential. The ability to leverage its platform to offer multiple solutions to children, a target demographic that generally has a few solutions, was another reason for AVF to invest.   

As busy parents find it challenging to juggle schedules, Piggy Ride becomes a highly sought-after service.  Since its inception, it has been growing 100 per cent every month, clocking in about 1,000 rides on average with about 27 rides per user. Currently, Piggy Ride serves kids from more than 50 academies, schools, day-cares, and coaching institutes.

Tokyo-based venture capital firm JAFCO Investment Asia Pacific is an investor in Piggy Ride, and it led the current round of investment as well.   

Manish is a seasoned entrepreneur who founded Koovs.com in 2009 and raised $20 million before leading the company through a successful IPO in the UK stock exchange in 2013. He had also co-founded pokkt.com in 2014 and raised $10 million. Manish graduated from BIT Varanasi and manages the technology, product marketing, and sales at Piggy Ride. 

Rohan has over nine years of work experience in various startups like Koovs, OLA cabs, Runnr, Jaypee Capital, etc.  He was part of the core team that helped OLA boost their daily bookings from 500 to 5 lakh. Rahul graduated from IIT Delhi and is responsible for operations, supply, and customer experience at Piggy Ride.  

"The Artha Venture Fund focuses on the key metrics, i.e., the sustainability of the business apart from scaling-up, which sets it apart from other VCs. The process from pitching the product to meeting the IC and the result was very smooth, transparent," said Manish. "We want to become the biggest in this category - mobility solution, finance and discovery platform. The average spends by a parent on a kid (from 2 to 18 years of age) is Rs 80-90 lakhs, we want to own a major chunk of the pie. There are 250 million kids in India in this age group and nearly 130 million kids live in our target cities, so we are aiming to own the largest pie," he added. 

Vinod Keni, the Growth Partner at AVFled the Piggy Ride investment for the fund, said, "PiggyRide is another example of Artha's strategy of investing in innovative business leveraging technology, founded by passionate entrepreneurs and a team with strong execution capabilities.  Piggy Ride & Manish checked off these boxes. We believe the market for child mobility and related solutions is big, growing significantly, and offers an opportunity. We are excited to be part of the Piggy Ride journey and look forward to supporting Manish, and his team builds a successful business."     

Anirudh A Damani, the Managing Partner at AVF, said, "Manish and Rohan are exactly the kind of founders we want to back. They have relevant experience, a history of strong execution, and they're working in an area where this is massive potential; Piggy Ride is the first-mover. We look forward to them dominating this category, marrying mobility and baby-tech under one platform. This is the eighth investment we've made so far, and we've got three more in the works." 

AVF thematically invests in B2B & B2C early-stage companies, and the fund thematically invests in consumption, consumption enablers, and B2B. Before Piggy Ride, AVF has also invested in seven other companies, including Agnikul, LenDenClub, Everest Fleet, and Daalchini. 

Before AVF, General Partner Anirudh Damani has had eight years of experience investing in startups through his family office Artha India Ventures. Anirudh has built a portfolio of 75 companies that includes Interstellar, OYO, Tala, Purplle, CoutLoot, SuprDaily, Beardo, Rapido, etc.



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