The India-based, Y-Combinator-backed car sharing firm, Drivezy, just raised Rs 65 crore ($10 million). The company has used the funds partly to begin accepting bitcoin payments on their platform. In all, the company has raised a total of $16.5 million (Rs 107 crore) from a variety of different sources. An equity investment totaling $5 million has been made by Japanese and American firms.
The firm’s CEO, Ashwarya Singh, told Econotimes they had just begun accepting bitcoin payments. He said, “We have started accepting cryptocurrency such as bitcoin for transactions on our platform. We have seen 150-160 transactions through that mode so far.“
Drivezy plans on using its fundraising to further streamline the bitcoin acceptance process for their ride sharing software.
Partnership with Unocoin to Enable Bitcoin Payments
The company has partnered with Unocoin to help make the bitcoin transactions streamlined. The company also launched an initial coin offering for Drivezy. Their own cryptographic tokens allow people to own stake in the company and possess part of their vehicle fleet.
Drivezy has partnered with Unocoin to enable bitcoin transactions and has also launched its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) to enable ownership of vehicles on its platform across the globe through bitcoins. The offering will allow individuals to buy or invest in the cars and purchase cryptographic tokens entitling them to a share of the revenue generated by rental transactions on the platform.
A Societal Shift to Bitcoin Payments; Drivezy Future Plans
This move to accept bitcoin payments as the company grows represents a shift to bitcoin acceptance with many car-related startups. For instance, Uber just brought on a pro-bitcoin CEO who previously worked for Expedia, and got the company deeply involved with accepting bitcoin payments. It is possible Uber could eventually bring on bitcoin as payment option as well. Independent Uber drivers are already exploring this option.
In this regard, Drivezy is already in the bitcoin acceptance fast lane. The company is taking initiatives to widen its base of operation in India. They are going to be launching new cycle rentals next month, as well as operations for all vehicles. Singh said, “We will be launching cycle rentals in Bengaluru next month. We are also looking to launch operations (for cars and bikes) in Kochi, Udaipur, Chennai and Hyderabad next.“
In terms of spreading bitcoin usage and adoption, the young car sharing firm is making headwind and setting the stage for more mainstream adoption in India.