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, the auto-rickshaw drivers have been frequently spotted sitting idle, while many commuters have to face inconveniences finding auto rickshaws. 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 a few clicks. Here is a detailed company profile of Jugnoo, complete with all about Jugnoo, its Founders, Funding and Investors, Business Model, Revenue Model, Name and Logo, Marketing Campaigns, and more.

Jugnoo - Company Highlights      

  • Startup Name-Jugnoo
  • Headquarters-Chandigarh
  • Founders-Samar Singla & Chinmay Agarwal
  • Sector-Transportation
  • Founded-2014
  • CEO-Samar Singla
  • Total Funding-$16 mn (2021)

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

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.

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

Samar Singla

Jugnoo CEO, Samar Singla is an alumnus of IIT Delhi, graduating with a Btech degree in Physics. Before this company, Jugnoo, Samar also founded Click Labs. He also has been a researcher at the University of Maryland and IBM. Singa 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 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.

Chinmay Agarwal

Jugnoo Ex-Co-founder and COO Chinmay Agarwal, is also from IIT Delhi. He pursued a Master's in robotics from the University of Genoa and was a scientist at Smart Cane. He was also the Co-founder of Click Labs along with Samar. Chimay also has a 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 the need to keep the employees motivated. He feels talking to the employees, being transparent, and aligning with them for the long term is truly beneficial for the company.

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 auto 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 - Name and Logo

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

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. It runs 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 drivers through Jugnoo should increase to significantly more than what they were earning on the road and the customer gets 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 - 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

The marketing strategy of Jugnoo is simple; the company makes the customers and drivers its promoters. Jugnoo has tapped the dual capacity of home delivery and on-demand availability of public transport. The company is 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. The company has 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 the shutdown of Fatafat and Jugnoo Meals.  

Jugnoo - Growth

Since 2014, when Jugnoo has been founded, the company saw numerous milestones achieved with the passage of time. Here's a glimpse of some of the prominent ones:

  • The company has completed 19M rides to date
  • Jugnoo has its footprints in over 120 Indian cities
  • The company boasts of having 8M+ users
  • It now has over 0.1M drivers onboard

Jugnoo - Challenges

In Samar’s words, the initial Jugnoo 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.

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

Jugnoo has acquired 3 companies till date. The company recently acquired Sabkuch Fresh, a logistics services firm that delivers Groceries, and hence expanded its services to grocery and fresh meals, food delivery from a choice of restaurants, payments, and deliveries. It acquired Yelo previously in July 2015. In July 2016, the company acquired taxi aggregator BookMyCab, which operates in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Hyderabad, and is licensed to operate in Delhi.

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 the 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 120+ 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 the wage scenario for 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 aims to extend its services to the remotest corners of the country. Also soon it aims to become a major international player.

Jugnoo - FAQs

What is Jugnoo auto app?

Jugnoo is a Chandigarh-based e-taxi or ride-sharing platform that focuses on the aggregation and ride-sharing of auto-rickshaws.

Who are the founders of Jugnoo?

Samar Singla and Chinmay Agarwal are the founders of the Jugnoo app.

What is Jugnoo model?

Jugnoo works on a ride-hailing model that earns from the commissions of the rides through its ap