Jugnoo - Story, Founder, Business Model, Funding, Team, News

Auto rickshaws are an essential medium of transportation in India, especially in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. However, the sector is still unorganized. Owing to this, many of the times, the auto-rickshaw drivers have to sit idle, while many commuters have to face inconveniences finding auto rickshaw. To fill this gap, Samar Singla and Chinmay Agarwal founded Jugnoo in 2014.

Jugnoo is India's largest technology-driven on-demand auto-rickshaw aggregator, which connects riders with safe, reliable, convenient auto-rickshaw just in few clicks. Here is a detailed company profile of Jugnoo.

Jugnoo - Company Highlights      

Startup Name Jugnoo
Headquarters Chandigarh
Founders Samar Singla & Chinmay Agarwal
Sector Transportation
Founded 2014
CEO Samar Singla

What is Jugnoo
Jugnoo - Industry Details
Jugnoo - Founders
Jugnoo - The Idea and Starting Up
Jugnoo - Name and Logo
Jugnoo - Business Model
Jugnoo - Revenue Model
Jugnoo - Customer Acquisition
Jugnoo - Marketing Campaigns
Jugnoo - Funding
Jugnoo - Challenges
Jugnoo - Competitors
Jugnoo - Partners
Jugnoo - Acquisitions
Jugnoo - Revenue
Jugnoo - Achievements
Jugnoo - Conclusion

What is Jugnoo

Jugnoo initially started as an on-demand auto rickshaw service and introduced various user-friendly features to make it easier for users to book a ride. In 2016, Jugnoo introduced Jugnoo Bot, which allowed Facebook users to book a ride through Facebook Messenger, Jugnoo's website, or its Facebook page. Jugnoo also offers a Multilingual interface for drivers, with over eight languages other than English.

As Jugnoo started gaining popularity as an auto-rickshaw aggregator, the founders leaped and launched various new services. The other services offered by Jugnoo are -

  • Dodo deliveries – It enables vendors to deliver goods to their customers. Dodo deliveries is now renamed as Jugnoo Delivery.
  • Flight map - It is a comprehensive routing solution, that solves travel salesman and vehicle routing problems.
  • Fatafat - Hyperlocal deliveries like food, grocery, veggies. Fatafat was shut down in October 2015. The service was launched again in Chandigarh in May 2016, after acquiring SabKuch Fresh.
  • Menus – The company had earlier launched Jugnoo meals. However, it was closed down in October 2015, and in 2017 it was re-launched as Menus. Jugnoo Menus has brought onboard popular restaurants and outlets like Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway, Baskin Robins, Super Donut, Burger point, Rolla costa, Copper Chimney, Marky Momos and Dhaba.com
  • AskLocal – The AskLocal feature of the Jugnoo app will not only provide local information but is also a platform where the users can ask questions, give recommendations, and share content. It is a geolocation-based platform and is operational across all locations covered by Jugnoo.

Jugnoo - Industry Details

A study conducted by EMBARQ India has shown that there are around 50,000 auto-rickshaws in the tier 1 cities of India. Again in tier 2 cities, there are approx 15000-30000 auto rickshaws. The concept of the auto aggregator is quite new in India. However many newbies, as well as leaders like Uber and Ola, have entered the autoaggregation sector.

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Jugnoo - Founders

Jugnoo was founded by Samar Singla and Chinmay Agarwal in 2014.

Owner of Jugnoo
Jugnoo Founder- Samar Singla and Chinmay Agarwal | Success Story of Jugnoo

Jugnoo CEO, Samar Singla is an alumnus from IIT Delhi. Before this company, Jugnoo, Samar also founded Click Labs. He also has been a researcher at the University of Maryland and IBM. He has also contributed as a scientist at CERN, Geneva. His mission is to change billions of lives with the help of technology. Samar is now the CEO of the Jugnoo. Besides Jugnoo, Samar is also serving as the CEO of JungleWorks. Founded in 2015 by Samar Singla, JungleWorks provides a complete technology stack for businesses.

"We don’t want to compete with these gorillas (Uber and Ola). We are currently following the Cockroach approach: Our focus is on survival, not winning. Also, we focus on growing in spaces where there is no competition" - Samar Singla, CEO, Jugnoo.

Jugnoo COO, Chinmay Agarwal is also from IIT Delhi. He pursued masters in robotics from the University of Genoa and been a scientist at Smart Cane. He was the co-founder of Click Labs along with Samar. Chimay also has patent of Methods and applications for altitude measurement and fusion of user context detection with elevation motion for personal navigation systems.

In the beginning, Jugnoo's founders, Samar and Chinmay were unaware of the major influence they were about to make on the daily lives of the common commuters and the auto drivers. Initiated with a casual attitude, soon they realized the situation was way more challenging than anticipated.

Jugnoo is Samar’s third venture, after Prodigy Foods, which he exited in two years, and started SaaS technology solution provider Click Labs.  

The company has 400+ employees currently. Samar stresses on the need to keep the employees motivated. Talk to them, be very transparent and align with them for the long term.

Jugnoo - The Idea and Starting Up

Samar observed that the major issues in the auto transport network were the obstinately uncooperative attitude of the auto drivers, unavailability, and unreasonable charges. The idea was to tap the potential public transport medium in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, i.e., the auto-rickshaw, so the public can hail it by using the mobile app, and the auto drivers can save on the waiting time; a concept similar to the taxi services like Ola. Jugnoo app was introduced on all the major platforms in smartphones such as ios, Android, and Windows. Users can also book Jugnoo rides using Jugnoo's Facebook bot.

Jugnoo means firefly. According to Samar, the word Jugnoo is related to nostalgia and happy memories. When people see an auto with a Jugnoo sticker, it becomes easier for them to remember Jugnoo company. The name, thus, has a recall value.

Logo of Jugnoo
Jugnoo Logo | Success Story of Jugnoo

Jugnoo - Business Model

Jugnoo has ventured into different businesses in both B2B and B2C segments. While it started operations in the B2C segment as an auto aggregator, Jugnoo also launched other B2C services like 'Fatafat' and 'Menus'.

Jugnoo forayed into the B2B segment with, with B2B logistics service, 'Jugnoo Delivery' and comprehensive routing solutions, 'Flight Map'

As regards the auto aggregator service, pricing for Jugnoo autos differs on a city to city basis. The strategy is to be the most affordable A-2-B transport option for the app users in that city. Some cities have a base fare + per km + per minute charge, some cities operate on meter fare. You can check the rates in different cities by downloading the app and searching for the cities. The fare is displayed in the bottom bar.

Jugnoo - Revenue Model

Jugnoo charges a commission back from the drivers. The commission rate is 10% of the ticket size in most cities. they run a number of incentive schemes for the drivers, this again is based on the stage of maturity in a city and the engagement level of the drivers.

It is trying to build efficiency in the market where the final income of driver through Jugnoo should increase to significantly more than what they were earning on the road and the customer get a predictable and cost-effective medium of transport.

For food delivery, the company charges merchants a commission and pays the auto drivers for delivery.

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Jugnoo - Customer Acquisition

In the initial days, Samar and Chinmay themselves met the auto drivers and explained the concept of the company. Convincing them to integrate technology into their routine work was quite a challenging task. Besides, for making the Jugnoo app familiar to the target customer, the app was launched at PECFEST of PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh. Also, free rides were provided to people in Chandigarh.

"The response was phenomenal and gave us the initial kick, to begin with" - recalls Samar.

Jugnoo - Marketing Campaigns

Marketing Strategy of Jugnoo is simple; they make their customers and drivers their promoters. They have tapped the dual capacity of home delivery and on-demand availability of public transport. They are growing exponentially in major metros by forging a strategic alliance with partners that adds to its potential customer base.

Jugnoo also made a media presence by making Saumya Tondon, a well-known TV and films actress its face. According to Samar, Jugnoo has benefited a lot from word of mouth publicity. Jugnoo runs user referral programs and social media campaigns to attract new customers. Jugnoo stayed in buzz with news like enrolling the first female auto driver, crossing 10k rides per day in Delhi NCR, backing series B funding even after Shutdown of Fatafat and Jugnoo Meals.  

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Jugnoo - Funding

Jugnoo has raised a total of $16 Million external funding in 4 rounds from 8 investors. Funding details of Jugnoo are-

Date Stage Amount Investors
January, 2015 Seed Undisclosed Click Labs
April, 2015 Seed $1 Million Rajesh Mathur (Junglee, Flywheel Software), Vikas Taneja (Partner and MD, BCG Group) & Chris Kolenaty (Kirloskar Integrated Technologies Ltd)
June, 2015 Series A $5 Million Paytm & Snow Leopard Technology Ventures.
April, 2016 Series B $10 Million Kunal Bhal (Snapdeal), Snow Leopard Technology Ventures, rocketship.vc & Paytm

The startup is funded by investors Click Labs, Rajesh Mathur, Vikas Taneja, Chris Kolenaty, Paytm, Snow leopard technology ventures, Kunal Bahl, and Rocketship.vc.

Jugnoo - Challenges

In Samar’s words, the initial challenges, which could be attributed to the demography of the tier 2 locations, were the reluctance of the drivers to use the technology and to break the mental barriers of the customers and introduce new ideas.

The two other major hiccups in the otherwise seamless journey were Jugnoo Fatatfat, which did home delivery of custom orders from stores within the city to customers. It was launched in March 2015 with an idea of in cashing the auto network, however, it was shut down after being operational for eight months. Also, Jugnoo had to close down Jugnoo Meal in October 2015.

However, the company later re-launched Fatafat and launched Jugnoo menus. Team Jugnoo stands by the bumpy rides and says that they have chosen to be careful rather than keep investing in something which out returns us a loss. All this while they used less than half of their reservoirs and concentrated on growing as a lean and productive unit.

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Jugnoo - Competitors

Jugnoo has a great market presence in the arena of Auto rickshaw aggregators competes with startups like mGaadi, TeleRickshaw and AUTOnCaB’s. However, the concept of Jugnoo is unique as it focuses only on auto rickshaw space.

Jugnoo is the only startup company in India to focus exclusively on auto-rickshaw space. Hence, our market is different and much bigger than the other players in the industry. Also, we are an aggregator in the true sense. We believe in leveraging existing supply rather than creating a new one.  

Jugnoo - Partners

For expansion and enhance customer base Jugnoo tied up with a travel search engine called Ixigo, a personal assistant application by the name of Helpchat (Tapzo), a public transportation information mobile app Zophop, an app with meta-search platforms to compare modes of transport on the basis of price called Oye Taxi and Scoot.

The payment gateways like Paytm and Mobikwik have digitized payments for Jugnoo. Punjab National Bank and Piaggio provided the drivers with easy funding options. Collaborating with connoisseurs from the industry like Anand Prakash also made Jugnoo shine brighter.

Jugnoo - Acquisitions

In the span of 3 years Jugnoo acquired Sabkuch Fresh, a logistics services firms which delivered Groceries and hence expanded its services to grocery & fresh meals, food delivery from a choice of restaurants, payments and deliveries. It also acquired Yelo in September 2015. In July 2016, the company acquired taxi aggregator BookMyCab, which operates in Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad and is licensed to operate in Delhi.

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Jugnoo - Revenue

In FY 2017-2018, Jugnoo's revenue doubled to Rs 11.7 crore from Rs 5.14 crore in FY 2016-2017. While Jugnoo's losses came down to Rs 16.34 crore in 2017-2018 from Rs 17.39 crore in 2016-2017.

Jugnoo - Achievements

Put together, some of the major achievements of Jugnoo are-

  • It established itself as the leading auto-rickshaw aggregator company of India, with around 40,000 people transacting per day.
  • The company has developed customer-centric services such as B2B deliveries, Food grocery, and meal delivery using auto-rickshaw, which is a unique business idea.
  • The startup has come up with latest technologies like Jugnoo Bot which allows the customer to hail rickshaw from any platform, Flight map which aids the drivers in planning the routes to save time and fuel, a multi-lingual interface for drivers and AskLocal, a hyperlocal geo-location-based feature that helps users to stay connected and share content.
  • The company is constantly exploring new avenues. It has launched its services in diverse fields like 3D printing with Printo, end to end field force management solution Tookan, real-time customer support app - Fugu, workflow automation tool - Bumbl and geo-analytics technology - Data Loops.
  • The company has been able to attract funding from biggies like Paytm and Snow Leopard Technology Ventures. Jugnoo raised a whopping $16 million in external funding.
  • It has more than 12000 autos registered with it.
  • The startup is operating across 50+ cities.
  • It has a registered user base of over 8 million.
  • In April 2018, the company started operations in Singapore, it had to close down in August 2018, owing to challenges it faced while recruiting drivers in Singapore. However, Jugnoo tied up with Singapore's local aggregator app Kardi. It is providing technical expertise and engineering support to Kardi.
  • Jugnoo also affirms to have an international presence in Trinidad and Tobago, Sri Lanka, Bermuda, Panama, Mombasa, Oman, Congo, Nigeria, Indonesia, England, UAE, and the US.

Jugnoo - Conclusion

Undoubtedly, Jugnoo has improved wage scenario for the auto-rickshaw drivers as well. A Jugnoo driver earns about Rs 70-80 per trip on average. A dedicated driver earns up to 25k per month and this is possible by optimized usage of their time, live know-how of best paths they could take to reach the destination, and of course less bargaining.

Team Jugnoo does not favor perks and considers them as a sign of weakness of their business model. In India where approximately 30 million auto rides are taken and Jugnoo is currently involved in 0.1 % of it, hence there is a huge potential to be exploited. The startup's aims to extend its services to the remotest corners of the country. Also soon it aims to become a major international player.

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