Chalo, a public transport-tech company, on Tuesday said it has raised $40 million (Rs 296 crore) in its Series C funding led by Lightrock India and Filter Capital.
The startup raised the money from existing investors WaterBridge Ventures; US-based early-stage fund Raine Ventures; Neeraj Arora, a former chief business officer at WhatsApp; and Amit Singhal, a former executive at Google.
The company said it will use $10 million of the proceeds to buy back ESOPs to reward current and former employees, as well as to enable early angel investors to monetise.
Chalo has seen an increased demand for digital tickets, live bus tracking, and live passenger indicator in the pandemic. The startup is currently present in 31 cities.
The startup will use the funds to invest further in technology, deepen its presence in India, and expand to cities in emerging markets countries, cofounder Mohit Dubey said in a statement to VCCircle.
He added: “We are looking to expand to emerging cities where the population has grown exponentially without the needed infrastructure. Chalo can easily be integrated into systems in many growing Asian cities.”
In January, Chalo raised $7 million (Rs 51.2 crore) in funding to expand in different cities and boost the use of its digital tickets technology in existing cities.
Chalo, which was founded in 2014 by Dubey and Vinayak Bhavnani, also provides contactless payment solutions intending to transform bus travel into a safer experience.
“Buses are India’s #1 form of public transport with 48% share of trips. Despite this, the experience is broken. At Chalo, we deploy technology that significantly improves the bus experience, and thereby increases ridership. We are today one of India’s largest mobility companies, with 20 million happy rides each month,” Dubey, CEO of Chalo, said.