InDrive, a global mobility and urban services platform, has launched a new venture and merger & acquisition division named New Ventures to allocate up to $100 million in investments to startups within emerging markets.
The mobility platform, recognized as the world’s second-largest ridesharing app and taxi app based on global downloads, specifies that these startups should operate in regions such as Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia, per its website. Through New Ventures, InDrive says it’ll help these startups “scale internationally while challenging injustice globally.”
In addition to its core investment criteria, New Ventures emphasizes that its portfolio startups operate in the post-seed/Series A stage and demonstrate substantial year-over-year growth exceeding 2-3x. The venture arm also underscores the significance of healthy economics and cash flow in its portfolio companies, showcasing efficiency across LTV, CAC, and retention metrics.
InDrive says its New Ventures unit will help its portfolio and acquired companies scale quickly across its main ride-hailing platform, gaining access to the company’s go-to-market know-how, technology and over 200 million active customers across over 45 markets and 700 cities.
Heading this initiative is Andries Smit, who assumed the role of Vice President of New Ventures in October at inDrive. In this capacity, he oversees the identification and scaling of high-growth units for the ridesharing app, which originated in Russia and is now based in the United States.
“Once an underdog and now a global company, inDrive is certainly an investor to watch – the team has achieved rapid global growth while remaining committed to its mission of challenging injustice,” Smit said in a statement. “By investing in emerging companies innovating to improve people’s lives, inDrive further strengthens its commitment to challenge injustice by helping successful but overlooked startups. The company is uniquely positioned to do this, leveraging its presence and fast growth in these emerging markets that have much weaker access to capital markets than developed countries.
Smit has extensive experience, having held strategic positions in startup and corporate settings. His career includes leadership roles in business transformations, acquisitions, and integrations at major corporations such as Morgan Stanley and Aviva. Additionally, Smit has contributed to building ventures as a partner at Stryber, a prominent strategic growth partner and independent corporate venture builder operating in Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region.
In addition to ride-hailing, inDrive, which raised a $150 million Series C round from Insight Partners and General Catalyst at a $1.25 billion valuation, provides an expanding list of urban services, including intercity transportation, freight delivery, task assistance, courier delivery and employment search. InDrive also raised $150 million in a debt funding round from General Catalyst to expand into new verticals and cities this February.