Gurgaon-based bus aggregation platform Shuttl said on Tuesday it has raised $20 million in Series A funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sequoia India and Times Internet Ltd.
Techcircle.in had first reported the development earlier this month.
Shuttl, owned by Super Highway Labs Pvt Ltd, was founded in April 2015 by IIT Delhi alumnus Amit Singh and IIT Kanpur graduate Deepanshu Malviya. Currently operational in Delhi NCR, the platform claims to provide shuttle services across 50 routes with about 500 buses, averaging around 15,000 rides a day.
“We believe buses are the most space efficient way to commute and we have added a technology layer on to them to build what could become a template for smart cities in India and abroad,” said Singh.
The price points for a ride range between Rs 20 and Rs 100. Within nine months of launch, Shuttl claimed to have completed over 8 lakh rides.
“What excites Lightspeed about Shuttl is the opportunity for the company to have massive positive social impact by helping address the problems of transportation, safety and pollution,” said Bejul Somaia, managing director at Lightspeed.
Shuttl had raised $3 million from Sequoia and angel investors in August, according to data from VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.
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 or mini-buses in 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 segment. Investors believe that bus pooling can become a popular mode of transportation in cities and that it can create a market opportunity equal to or larger than what cab hailing is today.
Techcircle.in reported earlier this month that Bangalore-based bus pooling startup ZipGo raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Orios Venture Partners.
Cityflo, which aggregates private mini-buses for daily commuters, received $750,000 (Rs 4.9 crore) in seed funding from IDG Ventures and an unnamed investor recently.
Mumbai-based rBus, which provides AC bus services, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from India Quotient, People Group founder Anupam Mittal and other investors.
However, an early exception in this sector is Trevo, a bus aggregation startup based in the national capital region that shut shop after operating for barely a month. Trevo was launched in early October by IIT and IIM alumni Mayank Jain, Raghav Jain and Nikhil Vij. The trio had last year launched TalentPad.com, a technology recruitment marketplace that shut shop in August. Mayank and Raghav had previously formed a social referral startup called Zobtree that was also shut down.
The latest entrant in this segment is Mojo, which is operational on Dwarka-Gurgaon and Ghaziabad-Gurgaon routes in the national capital region.
Cab aggregator Ola recently entered the bus transport segment by launching shuttle services in Mumbai and Gurgaon.