[Funding alert] Ex-Uber finance director invests $150K in intercity transit platform GoTo

Delhi-based intercity transit platform GoTo will use the fresh funding to expand in new markets and make some new key hires.

Delhi-based intercity transit platform GoToMobility has raised $150,000 from ex-Uber finance head Jesse Lucas, at a valuation of around $11 million.

Lucas was the 15th employee of Uber and took it up to the IPO in 2018. His knowledge and expertise in this business is surely more valuable than his investment amount, the startup said in a statement. With the presence of Jesse, GoTo will be able to attack the market more aggressively, the statement added. 

GoTo presently offers services in North India.

Before raising this round, GoTo claimed to have seen more than 200 rejections from investors and VC.

"It was not at all easy to raise money, specially in 2020 because COVID-19 has affected the entire transportation industry. I have been advised by many people to shut it down soon as lockdown was declared but it was the only option that I was not ready to opt for,” said Co-founder Harsh Vardhan Sharma.

“I was always interested in people who were with Uber at its very early stage. We are not only pleased that Jesse has invested with us, we are pleased because he is joining us on the board of directors as well because his expertise in finance is something we were looking for for our mentorship,” Harsh added.   

GoTo is at present raising $2.5 million in its seed funding round, which is expected to be closed in the next six months.  

Founded by Harsh Vardhan Sharma and Akhilesh Sagar in 2020, GoTo is a daily commuter for the intercity segment and operates on exclusive fleets and owns 100 percent of its inventory.

Before lockdown, GoTo was sharing inventory with existing bus operators between cities but it faced difficulties in terms of maintaining the safety and security standards for its passengers. During the lockdown period, the company revamped the entire transportation system in its app and launched an exclusivity clause for its vendor. 

The current growth rate for the company is 2x month on month, and the firm claims that it aims to multiply its current growth rate 10X more from April onwards. 

"GoTo is just not an app, it is the future technology for 1.25 billion people in India. Our focus is on providing a wow experience to commuters who are actually suffering on daily basis in SRTC services as well as having a painful experience in the current bus online booking system,” said Co-founder Akhilesh Sagar.
Edited by Teja Lele Desai