India's BluSmart is testing its ride-hailing service in Dubai

Indian ride-hailing startup BluSmart has started operating in Dubai, TechCrunch has exclusively learned and confirmed with its executive. The move to Dubai, which has been rumored for months, could help counter the likes of Careem, Uber and Hala in the United Arab Emirates’ most populous city.

The Gurugram-based startup quietly enabled the new Dubai service through its app earlier this week and has created a separate subdomain for Dubai on its website. BluSmart co-founder Anmol Jaggi confirmed to TechCrunch that the pilot started Tuesday with 100 Audi E-Tron SUVs and 130 drivers in the city. The formal launch will be in early June, he said.

BluSmart started planning its debut in Dubai in early 2023, people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. When contacted in late March last year, BluSmart CBO Tushar Garg refuted the development. However, its co-founder Punit Goyal said in an interview with a local media outlet later in the year that the startup was launching in Abu Dhabi and Dubai between November and December.

Without disclosing a specific timeline, Jaggi told TechCrunch that the Abu Dhabi launch will be later this year.

The ride-hailing startup, which counts BP Ventures, Mayfield India Fund and Green Frontier Capital among its early backers, was founded in 2019 by Jaggi, his brother Puneet Jaggi, and Punit Goyal to take on the duopoly of Uber and SoftBank-backed Ola. It started with an EV fleet in Gurugram and Delhi and later expanded to Bengaluru in 2022.

In January, the startup raised $25 million from Switzerland-headquartered impact fund ResponsAbility to pump up its charging infrastructure.

Last month, BluSmart announced its annual run rate grew 102% to $60 million, marking a compound annual growth rate of 300% over the last three years. The startup has a fleet of more than 7,300 EVs, covering nearly 286 million miles, and aims to reach 10,000 by the end of 2024.

Source link