Startups that are disrupting urban commuter services
Urban transport in India is notorious, and the continuous and rapid growth of the country’s urban population does not help matters one bit.
From autorickshaws to buses, metros to taxi services, the Indian public is heavily dependent on public modes of transport for their daily commute. However, mobility in the metros can often be unpredictable and unorganised - traffic jams and crowds making it more difficult.
The scenario is slowly changing though, and the good news is, much like other segments, even the public transport space is constantly evolving. New-age companies and startups are leading with technology-led ideas to change the urban mobility landscape, and there is no better place than India to see the impact first-hand.
In this listicle, YourStory names a few startups that are finding solutions to the daily commuting woes of India’s aam junta.
Mumbai-based, founded by IIT Bombay alumni Advaith Vishwanath, Ankit Agarwal, Jerin Venad, Rushabh Shah, Sankalp Kelshikar, and Subhash Sundaravadivelu in 2015, is an app-based bus service that
provides a commuting experience for corporate professionals.
The Cityflo team
The startup aims to solve the problem of long and stressful office commutes for professionals.
Cityflo's goal is to offer a commute option that is seamless, comfortable, and convenient. It claims to have adopted an asset-light model, partnering with bus operators.
In November 2020, the startup raised Rs 57 crore in Series A funding led by Lightbox Ventures to enhance its offerings beyond industry standards, expand services on current and new routers, and strengthen its position.
Founded by Jitendra Sharma, Gaurav Agarwal, and Pritesh Gupta in 2015, Bengaluru-basedis an online bus aggregator platform. It is an app-based provider of intra-city and inter-city bus services in India for corporates and individuals.
The ZipGo team
The startup offers its services in cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Delhi.
ZipGo raised Rs 300 crore in a funding round led by Essel Green Mobility Ltd. (EGM) in 2018 to transition to a fleet of all-electric buses, add e-rickshaws, and expand operations.
Hyderabad-based, founded by Rakesh Munnanooru in 2016, provides technology-enabled employee transportation services and end-to-end truck logistics for corporates and enterprises.
Founder and CEO of WhistleDrive, Rakesh Munnanooru
The startup claims to offer office commute services to companies including Hitachi Consulting, and ADP Invesco, among others.
Its offerings include "Whistle Shuttle", a B2B shuttle service for last-mile connectivity and point pick-ups; "Whistle Fleet," a technology-enabled fleet; and "Whistle 360," an end-to-end transport management service powered by technology and ground operations.
Whistle Tech, a tech platform developed by the startup, allows corporates to automate the entire transportation process.
In 2019, WhistleDrive raised Rs 72 crore in a Series B round from Chicago-based Colosseum Group to enter new cities, where it aims to offer its ‘Transportation as a Service' (TaaS) model.
Founded by Mohit Dubey, Vinayak Bhavnani, and Priya Singh in 2014, the Mumbai-basedapp allows users to track any bus live, purchase tickets, and travel by scanning their QR code.
The startup allows users to opt for contactless payment with Chalo cards, avoiding the difficulties of carrying change.
It partners with bus operators to deploy technology and improve the bus travel experience. The Chalo app is available for both Android and iOS users.
The Chalo app provides live tracking of over 15,000 buses and has a presence in over 15,000 cities across Kerala, Bihar, Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and other states.
In October 2021, the startup raised $40 million in Series C led by Lightrock India and Filter Capital, to invest in technology, develop its presence in India, and expand to international cities.
Founded in 2019 by IITians Amit Singh and Deepanshu Malviya, Gurugram-basedis a bus aggregating platform that offers shuttle bus service to commuters.
Amit Singh and Deepanshu Malviya
The startup claims to offer services such as reserved seats, good buses, flexibility in timing and economic viability.
Shuttl aims to make the daily commute stress-free, reliable, dignified, affordable, and safe for everyone.
The startup is backed by the likes of Sequoia Capital, Amazon Alexa Fund, Toyota Tsusho, SIG Global India Fund, and NAV. VC, among others.
In 2020, Shuttl raised Rs 57 crore from SIG Global India Fund.
Bengaluru-based, founded by Shobhana Sriram, Naveen Mamgain, and Vishal Lavti in 2015, is a bike/carpooling ride platform that connects commuters travelling in the same direction in real-time and schedules the rides instantly for an immediate ride, or in advance for upcoming rides.
The startup provides real-time locations and status of ride participants on a live map.
Quick Ride’s partners include some of the top IT companies such as Wipro, Cognizant, Capgemini, TCS, and Infosys.
The startup aims to help every car owner build a carpooling culture and enable urban commuters to start sharing the empty seats in their car or bike with other commuters.
It operates across cities, including Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Delhi-NCR, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Kolkata.