Mumbai-based private bus aggregator Cityflo raises $750k from IDG Ventures
Cityflo, a Mumbai-based private bus-aggregation startup, recently raised a seed round of $750,000 (approximately Rs 5 crore) from IDG Ventures. The amount will be used to enhance technology, expand the team and for greater penetration in Mumbai.
Jerin Venad, CEO and Co-founder, Cityflo, says,
Urban transportation is a billion-dollar problem to solve. In just nine weeks since our launch, we’ve received an overwhelming response from our customers with a customer repeat rate of over 75 per cent.
The company, which is being mentored by Housing's cofounder Advitiya Sharma, works with over a dozen private bus operators in Mumbai to provide a mode of transport for Mumbaikars. YourStory wrote about them sometime ago. Read more here.
Founded by a bunch of six IITians, technology is the core of this startup, says Ankit Agrawal, CTO and Co-founder, adding, “Different cities need specialised mass commute systems. Our tech team is creating a technology backend which will support a seamless scaling of operations across all cities.”
Cityflo went live with 10 routes across Mumbai, connecting the work hubs to popular residential areas. The routes connect western suburbs (Mira Bhayander, Borivali, Kandivali), eastern suburbs (Thane, Mulund) and Navi Mumbai (Vashi, Khopar Khairane) to Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). The company recently added routes to the second hub, Andheri.
They currently have over 85 buses plying 14 routes in the city. Tickets on Cityflo cost about Rs three per km, with an average ticket size of Rs 60 per commute booked. The platform sees an average of about 2,200 seats booked on a daily basis.
Here’s what their investor Venkatesh Peddi, Executive Director, IDG Ventures India has to say about them:
We believe the company is solving a large problem, which can disrupt the office commute transportation system in the country. Though early days, the execution so far has been excellent and we are very happy to partner with them in this journey.
Bus aggregation is potent enough to be the next big thing after meteoric rise of cab hailing services. As per a rough industry estimate, the market for bus services in India is much larger than that of Rs 60,000 crore radio taxi segment. At present, there are multiple players including Shuttl(NCR), rBus(Mumbai), Zipgo(Bengaluru) trying to get their footholds in this segment with an increasing interest from investors as well.
Shuttl secured funding from Sequoia Capital and angel investors while rBus raised an undisclosed amount of seed fund from India Quotient and angel investor Anupam Mittal. Ola also reportedly announced to invest Rs 120-150 crore in shuttle service resulting in an intense competition between Shuttl and Ola in Gurgaon in the recent times.