Inter-city bus service startup Yolo raises seed funding
Mukul Shah (left), Shailesh Gupta, and Danish Chopra, co-founders, Yolo Bus

Yolo TravelTech Pvt. Ltd, which operates inter-city transportation and mobility platform Yolo, has raised $600,000 (approximately Rs 4.28 crore at current exchange rates) in a seed funding round.

The Gurugram-based company has raised the capital from angel investors and a venture capital firm. However, it did not disclose the identities of investors.

Shailesh Gupta, co-founder at Yolo, said the company will use the funds to enhance its mobility platform to be able to provide customised mobility solutions to its different markets.

The company, Gupta said, is also expanding its services to southern parts of India, with a focus on territories such as Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Kerala.

“We are planning to upgrade the services by integrating operations and technology and are also strategising to bring on more dynamic routes on board,” Yolo co-founder Danish Chopra added.

Yolo was founded in August last year by Gupta, Chopra and Mukul Shah. The startup says it provides passengers with comfortable, punctual and safe ride experiences.

The company says bus fleets partnering with it provides airline-level services such as bus captains, high-speed WiFi, washrooms, food and beverages, and device charging points, among others. It also provides services such as emergency kits for children and pregnant women and safety measures.

While Yolo says it onboard buses to its platform after making sure they offer the services it advertises, bus aggregator startups operate on an asset-light model, preferring to partner with existing fleets and bus operators.

Another startup operating in the space is Travelyaari, which in August 2016 raised $7 million in a Series B funding round from investors such as Gujarat Venture Finance Ltd (GVFL) and Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL) and others. Travel platforms such as Ibibo, MakeMyTrip, and Paytm also offer their own bus ticketing services.

Recently, investor attention in the bus transportation segment has shifted to the intra-city commute model. Gurugram-based Shuttl, for instance, is set to raise $8.1 million (around Rs 57.42 crore) as part of its Series C funding round from SIG Global India Fund I, LLP. SIG Global is operated by the US-based quantitative trading firm Susquehanna International Group.

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