RailYatri.in, the train travelling consumer platform, announced on Wednesday that it had raised a fresh round of funding, with participation from all its existing investors - Nandan Nilekani, Helion Ventures, Omidyar Partners and Blume Ventures. This round comes on the back of a round that the company had raised earlier this year.
Launched in 2013 by Kapil Raizada, Sachin Saxena and Manish Rathi, who had over 20 years of engineering experience between them, RailYatri aims to change the ecosystem of train travel in India. The travel app provides comprehensive information on trains, passenger amenities at stations, platforms and the speed of the train, along with personalised alerts via the mobile app, mobile web and SMS.
Currently consisting of a 90 member team, the startup had raised its first round of institutional funding in 2014, led by Blume Ventures and a US-based angel investor. In June 2015, the company announced a pre-series A funding round led by Helion Venture Partners, along with Omidyar Network and existing investors Blume Ventures and Ujama. Then, more recently in 2016, Infosys co-founder and former chairman of UIDAI Nandan Nilekani announced that he had made an undisclosed amount of investment in RailYatri.
RailYatri.in uses deep-analytics technology to make predictions that help travellers make smart decisions for their upcoming travel. The app uses a traveller's mobile GPS to predict a train's delay, in addition to providing information on platform number, coach position, on-time history of a train and wait list confirmations.
Recomended read: RailYatri brings big data intelligence to Indian railway travel
Nandan Nilekani, former Chairman of UIDAI, noted in a statement,
My ongoing interactions with the extended RailYatri team has made me all the more excited about the impact that RailYatri can bring in using smart combination of mobile, data, payments and analytics to the common man in India. Their prediction algorithms are already delivering time and money savings for travellers.
RailYatri recently forayed into becoming a train travel-oriented marketplace. It is now enabling travellers to book essential services such as onboard meals, bus tickets and budget rooms.
Rahul Chandra of Helion Ventures noted that RailYatri’s strength lies in their ability to drive huge organic acquisitions at relatively low costs, and this helps the company scale positive unit-economic transactions. Siddharth Nautiyal, investment partner at Omidyar Network, says, “We're inspired by RailYatri's technology-led solution catering to a massive population of long distance rail passengers through a content, commerce and community strategy.”
The Indian railways are considered to be the lifeblood for millions of people who travel daily across the length and breadth of India. In a recent press release, Indian Railways noted that internet ticketing on the IRCTC website, which was started in 2002 with 29 tickets on the first day, now clocks 13 lakh ticket bookings every day. IRCTC also registered a turnover of Rs 1,500 crore in 2015-16.
Some of the other interesting players that cater to Indian railway customers include ConfirmTkt, Trainman and Ticket Jugaad. Coming to add-on services for railway travellers, which RailYatri recently forayed into, there exist multiple players like Travelkhana and Railtiffin.
With this fresh funding, RailYatri is looking at aggressively pushing towards growth and new services to enrich the experience of travellers. Manish, the CEO of RailYatri, claimed,
We have witnessed an unprecedented organic growth over the last several months and are quickly moving in the direction of becoming the largest travel app in the country. Over the next 12 months, we plan to establish RailYatri.in as a household name across the country.
Official Website- RailYatri
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