Leading bike taxi pooling app Rapido is all set to launch special and simplified features for the visually-challenged commuters to make their travels more comfortable from next month.

“Nearly 80-100 visually-challenged people use Rapido app every day at different places to reach their destinations. We are working on creating a simplified and user-friendly version of our app for their easy usage. It will go live in the first week of October,” Aravind Sanka, Co-Founder, Rapido, told BusinessLine .

Founded in October 2015 by three IIT alumni, India’s first bike taxi pooling service is currently available in 16 cities across India and is adding two cities every month. It also provides pillion riders with helmets and shower caps to soak sweat.

Explaining the new features, Sanka said that the visually-challenged users will now be able to activate the app using their voice, which will be converted into text for selecting destination. They will also be able to get their digital wallet loaded with money using the driver’s services, for automatic debiting after the travel.

“Usually, the visually-challenged people have fixed destinations, like home and workplace. The Rapido captains (drivers) mostly pick them up or drop at these destinations every day,” he said. “We have also partnered with TrueCaller. The visually-challenged people will have to just give a missed call to us for auto-registration,” he added.

Huge potential

Co-founder Pavan Guntupalli maintained that taxi hailing services like Ola and Uber cater to only 13-14 per cent of commuters in cities like Bengaluru, as many others choose alternative and affordable means of commuting. “We identified that need-gap and were curious to figure a way out. With approximately 70 per cent of the motor vehicles being two-wheelers in Bengaluru alone, Rapido sighted a strong opportunity to seize and maximize it.”

Currently, the app is growing 30 per cent month-on-month with 1.5 lakh registered ‘captains’ on the platform. It serves 30,000 daily rides with 10,000 monthly drivers on-board. The captain can earn easily through a value-added “Redeem” feature on the app by linking it with his bank account for instant money transfer, unlike the cab drivers who have to wait for a weekly or monthly payment cycle.

“Our customers, on an average, save 60 per cent-70 per cent of the costs and spend 30 per cent- 40 per cent less time in the traffic when compared to the cabs.” It’s captains are trained professionals and the start-up also provides insurance on all rides.

Rapido had raised an undisclosed amount in pre-Series A funding from investors including Hero MotoCorp Chairman Pawan Munjal, Google India Managing Director Rajan Anandan and others. “We are currently in an advance stage of talks for the next round of funding,” said Sanka.