HYPE to drive luxury car rental business to new growth areas

HYPE to drive luxury car rental business to new growth areas

Luxury car rental aggregator HYPE Technologies plans to expand operations in new cities and bring on board new partners, besides continuing product development, features, and self-drive opportunities.

The Bengaluru-based HYPE's Founder and CEO, Raghav Belavadi, has already self-funded $200,000 earlier, which has gone into developing the HYPE app that has seen over 600 bookings till date, with Karnataka seeing 50% of the bookings. The plan now is to raise $3-5 million in Series A funding next year.

"We've developed an app for iPhone currently, and soon, we plan to have an Android platform too. We are also available on our website" Belavadi told DH.

HYPE's model involves working with partners (car rental companies), who number four currently - one each in Bengaluru, Delhi, Chandigarh, and Chennai - between whom are 2,000 luxury and super-luxury cars - from a Mercedes-Benz C-Class to a Rolls Royce Phantom, which can be hired along with a driver through the app or website.

After logging onto the platform, customers can look for cars and book them. HYPE provides cars and drivers, which are allocated by its partners. Once booked, payment may be done via credit and debit cards or net banking.

"The reason for us working with partners is accountability and assured quality of service. These are high-end cars we're talking about, whose drivers need to be well-groomed, aware and skilled. The entire car rental business is based on trust," Belavadi said.

Today, the company caters to both B2B and B2C customers - HNIs, corporates, marriage parties, and weekend getaways, among others. It has also partnered with a private jet operator to help serve the latter's customers. "We are eyeing new markets such as Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad, and Vadodara, where we are in discussions for new partners. This year, we're expecting to close an additional 1,200 bookings," he concluded.

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