App-based bus commute startup Cityflo has raised Rs 57 crore ($7.7 million) in its Series A round of funding led by venture capital firm Lightbox Ventures.
India Quotient and other existing angel investors of the company also participated in this round, as per a press statement.
The capital will be mainly utilised to expand services on the current and new routes, and strengthen the startup’s position as a daily commute brand for the city’s working professionals.
The startup will be also launching a facility soon where bus drivers can park their buses at the end of the day, rest and recuperate.
"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 commute," said Jerin Venad, co-founder of Cityflo.
Cityflo was founded in 2015 by IIT Bombay alumni Venad, Subhash Sundaravadivelu, Rushabh Shah, Ankit Agrawal, Advaith Vishwanath and Sankalp Kelshikar.
Cityflo, owned by Komorebi Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd, connects popular residential areas around Mumbai like the western suburbs, Navi Mumbai and Thane, to major commercial hubs in the city.
Over the years, the company has expanded its presence to office hubs in Lower Parel, Andheri, BKC and Colaba. It says it runs 160 buses and logs over 8,000 bookings daily.
"The pandemic has made the situation more delicate with heightened apprehensions around safety, hygiene, and sanitisation. This segment, therefore, has the potential to scale up and become the next big thing," said Siddharth Talwar, partner at Lightbox Ventures.
Cityflo in April last year raised Rs 3 crore in its pre-Series A round of funding from India Quotient, which acquired IDG’s stake in June 2019 and holdings of a few individual investors.
Deals in the travel segment
In June, Yolo TravelTech Pvt. Ltd, which operates inter-city transportation and mobility platform Yolo, raised$3.3 million in its Series A round of funding led by Nexus Venture Partners.
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 and Bennett Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL).
Travel platforms such as Ibibo, MakeMyTrip, and Paytm also offer their own bus-ticketing services.
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 US-based quantitative trading firm Susquehanna International Group.