Gurgaon-based motorbike taxi service Baxi will roll out a new feature that will allow users to book rides on the app without using the internet.
The bike-taxi hailing app, which offers services in Gurgaon and Faridabad, will make the feature available to its 30,000 users from next week onwards.
''All customers who have an Android smartphone without data connection can now use the new Baxi app. They can also use the app when their internet connection isn't working,'' Baxi co-founder and chief technology officer Manu Rana told PTI .
This feature will help the company reach out to a larger number of customers, who will not have to rely on or spend money on data packs.
After opening the app, the user has to press the book button to get the nearest Baxi. When offline, the app uses an SMS to send the user's location and request to its server, finds the closest Baxi and responds to the user with information via an SMS. The app reads the SMS and displays the driver's information and location to the user as it would do in the case of an online booking.
''With this revolutionary innovation, our app is now the first and only taxi-booking app in the world, let alone bike-taxi booking industry, that functions without a data pack or Internet connection,'' Rana added.
The company, which plans to extend services to Noida and Ghaziabad later this month, offers rides at a base fare of Rs10, followed by Rs4 per km and Re1 per minute of ride time charges. Similar to Ola and Uber, Baxi allows users to get rides on motorbikes.
The company claims to facilitate about 3,000 rides daily in Gurgaon and Faridabad. It had received about $1.5 million funding last year from investors including HT Media, Manish Kheterpal (WaterBridge Ventures), Alok Mittal (Indifi Technologies) and Puneet Dalmia (Managing Director of Dalmia Bharat Group).
The transportation space is witnessing intense competition as some of the private equity-backed firms are offering discounted rides and investing heavily in getting more drivers onboard.
Other players in the bike-taxi segment include startups like N.O.W and Rideji.