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Omidyar leads Series B round in travel firm RailYatri

Noida-based train travel startup RailYatri has raised an undisclosed sum in a Series B round led by impact investor Omidyar Network, a company statement said.

Existing investors Infosys Ltd co-founder Nandan Nilekani, early-stage venture capital firm Blume Ventures, and homegrown venture capital fund Helion Venture Partners also participated in the round, the statement added.

The firm will use the funds to fund its expansion into hotels and packages for which it is hiring across verticals, Manish Rathi, co-founder and chief executive of RailYatri, said.

“We plan to reach 10 million annual transactions this year, and this round will help us in achieving our goal. Our low cost of acquisition allows growth with margins,” he added.

Operated by Stelling Technologies Pvt. Ltd, RailYatri was founded by Kapil Raizada, Sachin Saxena and Rathi in 2011. It provides information on trains, passenger amenities at stations, platforms and trains’ speed as well as alerts via mobile app, web and SMS.

RailYatri has added hotels, bus and one-way cab bookings on its platform. With this addition, the company will compete with online travel agencies such as MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip, Goibibo, Yatra and Goomo. These portals offer both ticketing and accommodation services.

In the standalone hotel booking space, there are newer tech-enabled and well-funded players such as OYO, Treebo and Fabhotels, among others.

In January this year, RailYatri acqui-hired food-delivery technology startup YatraChef.

In 2015, it raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A round of funding led by Helion Venture Partners, Blume Ventures and Omidyar Network.

In October 2016, it raised a follow-on round of funding from all its existing investors—Nandan Nilekani, Helion Ventures, Omidyar Partners and Blume Ventures.

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