Drivezy raises $20 million in funding round led by Das Capital

(From left) Drivezy co-founders Ashwarya Singh, Vasant Verma and Hemant Kumar Sah.

Car and bike rental platform Drivezy on Wednesday said it has raised $20 million in a Series B round led by existing investor Das Capital, an early-stage venture capital firm founded by serial entrepreneur Shinji Kimura. Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd and Axan Partners, among others, also participated in the round, said Drivezy co-founder Abhishek Mahajan. With this, it has so far raised about $31 million from external sources.

The money will be used to improve the startup’s technology infrastructure, besides strengthening its marketing initiatives across India. The company, which also raised an additional $100 million through an asset financing deal, plans to deploy about 50,000 vehicles over the next three years.

The Bengaluru-based peer-to-peer car and bike rental platform offers vehicles on an hourly, daily and monthly basis, for ₹100-2,500 per day, depending on the vehicle.

Drivezy was founded in 2015 by Mahajan, Amit Sahu, Ashwarya Singh, Hemant Kumar Sah and Vasant Verma. The platform allows vehicle owners to offer their cars and bikes on rent to registered customers.

“The sharing economy in India is thriving and has picked up real pace in the past five years, especially within the mobility sector. With less than 8% of Indian citizens owning a car, the rapidly growing car and bike sharing industry could provide convenient and sustainable mobility to millions of urban Indian residents. This fresh investment will allow us to cement our foothold as the market leader in the growing vehicle sharing market in Indian,” Drivezy CEO Ashwarya Singh said in a statement.

The platform is operational across eight cities, including Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad, catering to 37,000-40,000 customers a month. Out of the total customer base, 60% people are two-wheeler users, and the company expects that number to reach 70% in the next two years, said Mahajan.

Investors are pouring funds into scooter rental startups, including Vogo (backed by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and Hero MotoCorp Ltd), Rapido and Bounce, Mint reported in this month. Sachin Bansal, co-founder of Flipkart, is also planning to invest about $100 million in electric scooter startup Ather Energy.


BMW M2 Competition: Now in pictures

BMW M2 Competition: Now in pictures

The BMW M2 Competition is now available in India with prices starting at Rs 79.90 lakhs (CBU, ex-showroom). This makes it the least expensive M performance car in the country. The M2 Competition is a two-door sports coupe, which is a one of a kind luxury sports sedan in the segment. Let’s take a look at this picture gallery of the car which currently has no competition at all.

BMW M2 Competition

BMW is offering the M2 Competition in an alpine white non-metallic and four other metallic colour options including sunset orange, hockenheim silver, long beach blue and black sapphire.

BMW M2 Competition

As against the standard M2, the M2 Competition features a gloss black twin kidney grille and adaptive LED headlights at the front. It features M side gills with M2 badges and M ORVMs.

BMW M2 Competition

So the standard M ornamentation can be seen inside out with badging, but what makes it very appealing is a rear spoiler and quad exhausts with black tips.

BMW M2 Competition

What’s more interesting is that the car gets electronically controlled flaps for the exhaust system which will deliver a fantastic aural experience every time you rev that engine.

BMW M2 Competition

The cabin features M Seat belts, illuminated M2 badges, sport seats and M steering wheel. There’s gloss black and pearl chrome trim finishes, while the headliner is finished in Anthracite.

BMW M2 Competition

Another USP is the M style instrument cluster with red needles and white illumination. Then, there’s an 8.8-inch colour infotainment Harman Kardon audio system paired to 12-speakers, iDrive controller etc.


New 2018 Maruti Ertiga launched in India at Rs 7.44 lakhs

New 2018 Maruti Ertiga launched in India at Rs 7.44 lakhs

–  The second-gen Ertiga moves to Heartect platform from the Swift and Baleno.

–  Gets the new K15 petrol engine along with the tested 1.3 DDiS motor. 

–  Additional features, modern looks and increased dimensions make the new Ertiga more upmarket than before. 

–  Available across four trims and two engine options along with automatic transmission offered in two trims. 

Maruti Suzuki has finally launched the much-awaited new-gen Ertiga in India for a price of Rs 7.44 lakhs (ex-showroom). The second-gen Ertiga is introduced in 10 trims – LXi, VXi/VXi AT, ZXi/ZXi AT and ZXi+ for the petrol and LDi, VDi, ZDi and ZDi+ for the diesel. It now gets a new Pearl Metallic Auburn Red body colour joining the range.

The new Ertiga moves to the Heartect platform, sharing it with the likes of Baleno, Dzire and Swift. The MPV is slightly bigger than before, measuring 4395x1735x1690mm, but is also lighter. It sits on the same wheelbase with newly designed 15-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 185/65 section tyres. The carmaker also claims that the new Ertiga has an improved NVH performance along with strong and rigid construction.

Appearance wise, the new Ertiga adopts a bold new styling which is more upmarket as well. The most prominent highlight is the new grille flanked by sleeker headlamps which with projector units and LED daytime running lights. The bumpers have stylish elements around the fog lamps and contrasting black surrounds. The silhouette gets a floating roof design similar to the Swift. And at the rear, there is an L-shaped taillight extending to the D-pillar and a revised tailgate.

Moving inside, even the cabin is more upmarket than before. It gets the new 6.8-inch infotainment screen with all the connectivity features available in the Swift and Baleno. The flat-bottom steering adds a sporty touch to the cabin along with a twin-pod instrument cluster. The dual-tone cabin gets a beige-black finish with wooden inserts running across the dash.

Under the hood, there is the all-new K15 petrol engine which debuted in the updated Ciaz. It generates around 103bhp and 138Nm. The diesel is the tried and tested 1.3-litre DDiS 200 producing 90bhp and 200Nm. Transmission is a five-speed manual, with an option of four-speed automatic for petrol. Both the engines now get Maruti’s mild hybrid technology, thereby making it more efficient as well.  The claimed fuel efficiency of the diesel is 25.47kmpl and 19.34kmpl for petrol manual and 18.69kmpl for the petrol automatic

2018 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga launched in India: Top 4 exterior highlights

2018 Maruti Suzuki Ertiga launched in India: Top 4 exterior highlights

Maruti Suzuki has launched the new second generation Ertiga in India at Rs 7.44 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). The change has come after a significant length and thus is a big step up from the outgoing model and here are the top four exterior design highlights.

Grille and headlamps
The first element we want to highlight is the new grille and headlamps. The Ertiga might be a common sight on our roads but it is in a niche of its own thanks to the growth of SUVs across price brackets. The top spec model sees the car get a grille that is chrome heavy while headlamps are now projectors with LED DRLs.

New roofline 
The added length is very visible in the profile view and puts a new perspective on the design of the Ertiga. The roofline slopes to the rear and sits just above the vertical tail lamps. However, the pillars have been blacked out thus giving the impression of a floating roofline.

 Alloy wheels
In their previous iterations, almost all the Maruti models shared a very similar design for the alloy wheels. However, with this new Heartect generation, every one of the models have got a unique design and it is no different with the Ertiga. The wheels are a five-spoke star design on the higher spec model while in the lower spec version we expect a similar pattern for the wheel covers.

Tail lamps
One of the most striking exterior design highlights for this new Ertiga are the tail lamps. They are vertical units and have zig-zag pattern with LEDs for illumination. The reversing lamps have been inserted into the horizontal section of the lamp assembly just above the number plate slot


CBSE has no role in deciding eligibility criteria for NEET

The CBSE clarification came following several complaints about barring open school candidates and those with biology as an additional subject in Class 12 from appearing for NEET. Photo: Mint

The CBSE clarification came following several complaints about barring open school candidates and those with biology as an additional subject in Class 12 from appearing for NEET. Photo: Mint

New Delhi: The CBSE has clarified that it has no role in deciding eligibility criteria for medical entrance exam, NEET, and grievances, if any, should be submitted to the Medical Council of India (MCI).

The clarification came following several complaints received by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) about barring open school candidates and those with biology as an additional subject in Class 12 from appearing for the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET).

“The responsibility of CBSE is limited to holding the NEET (UG) examination, based on the eligibility criteria provided by MCI. CBSE has no role to play in deciding the eligibility conditions,” the board said in an advisory.

Students who have pursued schooling through National Institute of Open Learning (NIOS)/ State Open School or those who studied biology or biotechnology as an additional subject in Class 12 are ineligible to appear in NEET.

“Therefore, all the grievances received by CBSE on these issues are disposed of. Candidates are requested to kindly read the information bulletin and FAQs hosted on NEET website before sending grievance to the board in any form,” it added.

This year, NEET will be held on 6 May. Online application process began on 8 February and 9 March is the last date to register. The last date for successful payment of fee online is 10 March till 11.50pm.


Xiaomi Mi Crowdfunding Launched in India: Here’s How it Works

Xiaomi Mi Crowdfunding Launched in India: Here's How it Works

Xiaomi on Wednesday launched a new programme in India called ‘Mi Crowdfunding.’ With the new feature, users will be able to help the Chinese manufacturer in deciding which products it should release in India. Xiaomi will keep posting a curated list of “innovation-driven” products that it will sell only when a certain number of people are interested. If a particular product fails to meet the criteria in a set timeline, the product will not be shipped and the customers will get their money back. The crowdfunding platform has been launched as part of the Xiaomi Mi Fan Festival, which will run from April 5 to April 6.

As of now, Xiaomi has put up two products that it is planning to bring in India, on its dedicated webpage. The first product is the Mi Selfie Stick Tripod, which the company has priced at Rs. 1,099. It is a selfie stick and tripod combined into one unit and comes with a Bluetooth shutter remote. It is equipped with Bluetooth 3.0, meaning it will support smartphones running Android 4.3 and higher, and iOS 5.0 and higher.

xiaomi tripod Mi Selfie Stick Tripod

Xiaomi Mi Selfie Stick Tripod

The Mi Selfie Stick Tripod is able to rotate 360 degrees and comes with an adjustable grip to “accommodate the largest smartphones like Mi Max 2.” The product comes in only one Black colour variant, measures 45×49.5x190mm, and weighs 155 grams. Xiaomi promises that it will be shipped within 10 days of successful completion of the project.

Next is the Bluetooth Audio Receiver that has been priced at Rs. 999. The device, meant to provide wireless music, comes with a single key function that turns on the earphones, connects to Bluetooth, plays and pauses music, and answer calls as well. It comes with Bluetooth 4.2 to connectivity, and a headphone amplifier chip.

xiaomi bluetooth Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver

Xiaomi Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver

Xiaomi claims that the 97mAh battery onboard can be fully charged within 2 hours and support 4 to 5 hours of playback. The device weighs 10 grams and comes with a 3.5mm audio jack. Users can pair up to two handsets but only one of them can be connected at one time. Notably, the product does not have the volume key function of Apple and Apple certified MFI earphones. It is available in a White colour variant.

To use the Mi Crowdfunding feature, first, you will have to select the product and click on ‘Support now’ to place your order. Following this, you can use any preferred online payment mode and pay within the defined timeline on the payment page. You will be able to come back anytime to check the project progress. Notably, a project is considered successful once the bar reaches 100 percent in the defined timelines. Also, in case you change your mind, you can cancel the order before it ships out.


GoPro HERO Sports and Action Camera Launched in India: Price, Specifications

GoPro HERO Sports and Action Camera Launched in India: Price, Specifications

Popular action camera brand GoPro has launched a new waterproof camera in India. The rugged GoPro HERO sports action camera is waterproof up to 10 metres and comes with features like wide-view, voice control, and stabilisation, the company has claimed. It will go on sale in the country on April 2 exclusively via Flipkart. The e-commerce website has teased the upcoming device under its “No Kidding Days” sale which will run on April 1 and April 2. The GoPro HERO price in India has been set at Rs. 18,990.

Flipkart has already listed the GoPro HERO sports action camera on its website. Interested buyers will be able to pre-book the GoPro Hero via Flipkart on March 30.

The GoPro HERO with model number CHDHB-501-RW sports a 10-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor which is capable of shooting HD videos (1440p60 and 1080p60) and 10-megapixel photo performance (1440p30 and 1080p30 also available). It has an ISO range of 100 – 1600. It bears a 4.95cm touchscreen with a 320×480 pixels resolution. It has 4GB of built-in storage, expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). It measures 32x62x44.5mm, and weighs 117 grams.

As mentioned, the GoPro HERO has voice control feature that gives hands-free control using commands. It also comes with stabilisation functionality that lets users capture stable videos even when using a GoPro mount.

To recall, GoPro has three other cameras in India – HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, and HERO5 Session – priced at Rs. 37,000, Rs. 27,000, and Rs. 18,000 respectively.

Commenting on the launch, Meghan Laffey, GoPro’s SVP of Product, said, “HERO is a great first GoPro for people looking to share experiences beyond what a phone can capture. HERO makes it easy to share ‘wow’ moments at a price that’s perfect for first-time users.”


Black Friday Deals: Best Headphones To Work Out In

There is no worse feeling than turning up for an interval session on the Versaclimber without any headphones. A close second is having to actually talk to someone in the weights section.

(Related: 5 of the best wireless headphones)

Headphones aren’t just for the socially awkward, either. Researchers at Brunel University in London have revealed that listening to music while you’re working out could make your deadlifts more enjoyable.

(Related: Music will put you in the mood to work out)

Your performance can improve, too. Studies have shown that listening to a tune perfectly matched to a certain type of exercise will improve motivation. Researchers at York St John University also discovered that athletes who were given ‘invigorating’ personal music were able to lift more than those exercising to an ambient, ‘piped-in’ soundtrack. Test subjects using headphones held a dumbbell in front of themselves for 10 per cent longer than those without.

So, whether you’ve lost yours, can’t untangle the wires or are simply looking for something new, here’s the latest and greatest models that are available on Black Friday.


Organization makes effort to get community involved in health and fitness

Story image for Health & Fitness from WDVM 25

A local organization in Montgomery County is hoping to get the community involved in fitness and raise money for a cause with the new event.

The instructors at “Club Fit” in Montgomery County provided Zumba, yoga, and bootcamp sessions.

Every year Empower Through Play organizes a mission trip to help children in need that live overseas. The organization provides shoes through local donations while empowering the youth to live healthier lifestyles.

“Were going on a mission trip to Columbia, were bringing sneakers and cleats and donating physical education equipment so that way we can empower those kids” said Charles Yinusa, founder of Empower Through Play.

The organization is also accepting shoes and sports equipment for donations.