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

Jugnoo - Introduction

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 across 40+ cities in India. It was founded in November 2014 by a handful of IITians.

Jugnoo - The Idea and Target Market

The founder found 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 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 Uber. Jugnoo App was introduced on all the major platforms in the smartphones such as ios, Android and Windows. Users can also book Jugnoo rides using Jugnoo's Facebook bot.

Jugnoo - Founders

Jugnoo was started by an IIT Delhi alumunus,Samar Singla. Before jugnoo he also founded Clicklabs. He also has been a researcher at 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.
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.

Chinmay Agarwal, had pursued masters in robotics from the University of Genoa and been a scientist at Smart Cane. He was the co-founder of clicklabs 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, Samar and Chinmay were unaware about 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 realised the situation was way more challenging than anticipated.

Jugnoo - The Product/Service

Jugnoo initially started as an on demand auto rickshaw service. But as it was smooth on the rails, the founders took a leap and launched various new services such:
Dodo deliveries - which became cash flow positive in Chandigarh very soon.
Jugnoo Bot - which allowed the customers to hail the rickshaw from any platform.
Flight map - planned out the route and resources in advance and save fuel and time.
Multilingual interface for drivers - with over eight languages other than English.
Fatafat -hyperlocal deliveries like food, grocery, veggies among others which was started in November 2016 and
Meals - for ordering freshly cooked meals through the app

Jugnoo - Business Model

Pricing at Jugnoo differ 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 stage of maturity in a city and the engagement level of the drivers.It is trying to build an 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.

Jugnoo - Growth

After in business for about 3 years, the team was successful in registering a whopping 4 Million users with around eighteen thousand Auto drivers on their network catering to foifty thousand daily customers. The company does 3,000 foodorders on a daily basis.

Jugnoo - Funding

Till now this promising startup has rasie a total of $16Mn extrnal funding in 4 rounds from 8 investors. With seed funding from Rajesh Mathur (Junglee, Flywheel Software), Vikas Taneja (Partner and MD, BCG Group), Kirloskar Brothers and backed by powerful inflow by Snow Leopard Technology Ventures, Paytm, Rocketship.vc, reflecting a solid foundation and optimistic future.

Jugnoo - Major Challenges

In Samar’s words, the initial challenges, which could be attributed to demography of the tier 2 locations, were the reluctance of the drivers to use the technology and to break mental barriers of the customers and introduce new ideas. Henceforth Jugnoo has chartered unseen numbers in a territory not touched well. Below is a depiction of Jugnoo’s intrusion in the life of daily commuters in Tier1, Tier2 and Tier 3 cities of India.

The two 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.

Another one was Jugnoo Meals, which home delivered home cooked food at affordable prices closed in October and later designed fresh to be launched as Meals.
Team Jugnoo stands by the bumpy rides and says that they have chosen to be careful rather than keep investing in something which out return us loss. All this while they used less than half of their reservoirs and concentrated on growing as a lean and productive unit.
In Samar Singla’s words “startups don’t fail by completion their execution strategies fail them”, and hence is oblivious to competition. Nonetheless, Jugnoo has a great market presence in the arena of Auto rickshaw aggregators competes with startups like mGaadi, TeleRichshaw and AUTOnCaB’s.

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.
They also made a media presence by making Saumya Tondon, a well-known TV and films actress the face of Jugnoo.
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.

Jugnoo - Partnerships

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, a logistic services firms which delivered Groceries and hence expanded its services to Grocery & fresh, Meals, food delivery from 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.


Undoubtedly, Jugnoo has improved wage scenario for the auto rickshaw drivers as well. 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 favors 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.

Author image

About StartupTalky

StartupTalky is a community for entrepreneurs to read, discuss and share startup news, opinions & stories. Feel free to connect with us at shubham@startuptalky.com to get your startup featured.
  • Bangalore, India