22 March 2016 Current Affairs: Gurgaon-based Baxi will roll out a new feature to help users book rides on the app without using 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."All customers that have an Android smartphone without a data connection can now use the new Baxi app. Customers can also use the app even when their Internet connection isn't working," Baxi co-founder and CTO Manu Rana told PTI.This feature will help the company reach out to a larger number of customers as they will not have to rely on or spend money on data packs.Upon opening the app, the user has to press the BOOK button to get the nearest Baxi. If the app is offline, it uses an SMS to send the user's location and request to its server, find the closest Baxi and respond to the user with that information using SMS.The app reads the SMS and displays the drivers information and location to the user in the same way as it would do in an online booking.The company, which plans to extend services to Noida and Ghaziabad later this month, offers rides at base fare of Rs. 10, followed by Rs. 4 per km and Re. 1 per minute of ride time charges.Similar to Ola and Uber, Baxi allows users to get rides but on motorbikes.The company claims it facilitates about 3,000 rides daily in Gurgaon and Faridabad. It had received about $1.5 million (roughly Rs. 10 crores) 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 the private equity-backed firms are offering discounted rides and investing heavily in getting more drivers on board.Other players in the bike-taxi segment include startups like N.O.W and Rideji.
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