Cityflo, a bus hailing app that aggregates private mini-buses for daily commuters, has received $750,000 (Rs 4.9 crore) in seed funding from IDG Ventures and an unnamed investor.
Mumbai-based Komorebi Tech Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs the two-month old Cityflo, will use the money raised to build its team, deepen Mumbai operations and expand into other cities.
“We are a technology platform which facilitates private bus owners to interface with the commuters,” said Jerin Venad, the 24-year-old CEO of Cityflo. “There is a huge opportunity for the product we are building,” he said, adding that urban transportation is a $10 billion opportunity in India.
The urban transportation startup, which was founded by IIT Bombay alumni Venad, Subhash Sundaravadivelu, Rushabh Shah, Ankit Agrawal, Advaith Vishwanath and Sankalp Kelshikar, has 60 buses on its platform in Mumbai. It currently provides services in 10 routes within the city. The company collects ticketing revenue from customers and charges bus operators for its services.
It offers about 2,200 customer rides daily. The Cityflo app has been downloaded about 8,000 times, Venad says. Housing.com co-founder Advitiya Sharma is an advisor to Cityflo.
Cityflo will first strengthen tentacles in Mumbai before expanding into other cities. “We want to capitalise on our early mover advantage in Mumbai and expand aggressively across the city. We plan to enter other cities in the next few months,” he said.
Meanwhile, the company has already initiated talks with institutional investors for a larger round of funding.
Bus pooling in India
Bus pooling for daily commute or intra-city transport is a relatively new concept in India. A host of tech startups have started aggregating buses/mini-buses in the recent months These ventures are asset light and do not own vehicles themselves but come across as a booking platform similar to taxi hailing apps Ola and Uber. There is tremendous investor interest in this space.
Mumbai-based rBus secured seed funding from People Group founder Anupam Mittal and Anand Lunia’s India Quotient in August.
The co-founders of TalentPad.com, a technology recruitment marketplace that shut shop in August, have started Trevo, a bus pooling app for intra-city travel.
Cab aggregator Ola recently entered the bus transport segment by launching shuttle services in Mumbai and Gurgaon.
Since its inception around nine years ago, IDG Ventures India (part of global venture capital firm IDG Ventures) has committed about Rs 1,000 crore to India’s early-stage startup ecosystem.
IDG Venture India has been an early stage investor in tech startups such as Myntra, Manthan Software Services and Lenskart. It has backed names such as iProf Learning Solutions, Yatra.com and Hiree.com in its portfolio of about 30 companies.
IDG Ventures India recently named Tata Sons’ chairman emeritus Ratan Tata as senior advisor to its advisory board.