Mumbai-based public transport app Ridlr, developed by Birds Eye Systems, has raised $6 million in a Series B round from Times Internet and existing investors Matrix Partners and Qualcomm Ventures. Venture debt provider InnoVen Capital – which has struck deals worth $12 million in Q1 this year- also participated in this round. Co-founder Brijraj Vaghani told YourStory that the new funds will be used for product development and team expansion.
Founded in 2009 by Ravi Khemani and Brijraj, Ridlr had raised an undisclosed amount in Series A funding from Matrix Partners in December 2013 and Qualcomm Ventures in September 2014, prior to which Birds Eye Systems had raised seed capital of Rs 2 crore from Indian Angel Network in 2012.
Birds Eye Systems has a patented algorithm that captures live movement on the streets through GPS-installed probes. Using this as base data, Ridlr app provides real-time information on road blocks, diversions and cancellations to help users choose a mode of transport. Birds Eye Systems’ flagship product Traffline helps users choose best directions to their destination.
The Ridlr app also provides online ticketing for Mumbai’s local (NMMT) buses and local train service. In fact, they have tied up with the local train, metro and bus departments for complete listings, time-tables, news, delays, etc. They provide such information for 24 cities, including all the eight Tier 1 cities and Indore, Bhopal, Nagpur and Ludhiana, among others.
The year 2016 has been comparatively tougher than last year in terms of funding. With $2.1 billion raised in the first half of 2016, Indian startups are witnessing a 40 percent decline in funding as compared to the previous year’s $3.5 billion. But Brijraj told YourStory that their numbers being good worked in their favour. Ridlr claims to have 1,00,000 daily users with a retention rate of 50 percent. They have five lakh downloads, while Traffline has one million. The Traffline app also allows users to share traffic information and alternative routes with the user’s friends and family.
As cities and populations grow, poor infrastructure and public transport are causing urban life to become distressful, with traffic congestions and hours-long road blocks. Despite the entry of cab aggregators like Ola and Uber, the number of private vehicles on the roads have not seen a substantial decrease. Besides Ridlr and Traffline, Bengaluru-based YoRide offers data on public transport and also act as a super aggregator for Ola, Uber, rentals, etc. More such players are coming up in this space.