[Funding alert] App-based bus service provider Cityflo raises Rs 57 Cr led by Lightbox

Mumbai-based bus service provider Cityflo will use the new funding to enhance its offerings beyond industry standards, expand services on current and new routes, and strengthen its position as a daily commute brand for working professionals.
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Cityflo, an app-based bus service that provides a commute experience for corporate professionals in Mumbai, has raised Rs 57 crore in Series A funding led by Lightbox Ventures. India Quotient, which had infused a seed amount of Rs 3 crore into Cityflo in 2019 along with other angel investors, also participated in the round. 

“Cityflo was founded with the vision of solving the problem of long and stressful office commutes for professionals in our cities. Our goal was to offer a commute option that is convenient, comfortable, and seamless,” said Jerin Venad, Co-founder, Cityflo.

“We plan to invest the proceeds from our Series A funding to upgrade our operations, increase our presence across heavy traffic routes in Mumbai, and grow Cityflo into a go-to brand for office commutes,” Jerin said.

Jerin Venad, Co-founder, Cityflo

Fixing the public startup system

The startup is also working towards skilling drivers with regard to customer service etiquette, soft skills and grooming, among other aspects. It will also be launching a facility soon where bus drivers can park their buses at the end of the day to rest and recuperate.

Siddharth Talwar, Partner, Lightbox Ventures, said, “The public transport system in India is broken and overstressed. For those who drive their cars to work, the problem is compounded by traffic and long travel time. The pandemic has made the situation more delicate with heightened apprehensions around safety, hygiene, and sanitisation. This segment has the potential to scale up and become the next big thing. Cityflo holds a lot of promise as a brand for working professionals who fight traffic for hours on end every day and incur costs in terms of time.”

Anand Lunia, Partner, India Quotient, said, “We invested in Cityflo not because theirs was a unique business proposition but due to the fact that its services set out to solve something that numerous office commuters faced daily.”

Founded in May 2015, Cityflo claims that it has adopted an asset-light model, partnering with bus operators, and is more than doubling in scale every year. It currently works with a total of 160 buses and provides employee transport to essential service companies in the post-pandemic environment.

According to the Co-founder Sankalp Kelshikar, “Cityflo’s customers are our number one priority. Tailored to our customers’ desires, our buses are air-conditioned BharatBenz buses with aesthetic interiors, ergonomic, reclining seats, and equipped with air-suspension for a smoother ride. We are changing the perception that buses are slower than cars by limiting the number of boarding points on our routes.”

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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