Rodeo Travel Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which offers online ticket booking services through its Railofy app, has raised Rs 7 crore ($952,000 at current exchange rates) in seed funding from venture capital firm Chiratae Ventures.
Mumbai-based Railofy will use the capital to expand its presence across India, it said in a statement.
The announcement comes after VCCircle in April reported that Chiratae, which has also backed other travel-technology companies including Yatra and Tripoto, had invested in Railofy.
Railofy was launched last year by Rohan Dedhia, Hrishabh Sanghvi and Vaibhav Saraf. Dedhia is an alumnus of the Indian School of Business and has previously worked at KPMG and JPMorgan. Sanghvi is an IIM-Lucknow alumnus and has worked at Edelweiss Securities in the past. Saraf is an IIT-Bombay graduate and worked at Deloitte before becoming an entrepreneur.
The startup provides a travel guarantee and alternative travel options at price points close to railway ticket fares. The passengers can buy the guarantee for a fee if their train tickets are not confirmed or waitlisted. If their tickets get confirmed, they can travel by train. If not, Railofy provides them an option to purchase flight tickets at a pre-agreed price. Railofy started trials for select trains originating from Mumbai in January.
“As India becomes more aspirational, passengers will demand a more reliable experience while travelling by the railways. Railofy is working towards this by solving one of the biggest problems affecting railways – waitlist due to congestion,” Chiratae founder and managing director TC Meenakshisundaram said.
India’s online train ticketing market is dominated by state-run Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corp. IRCTC is the largest e-commerce company in India by number of transactions. IRCTC, which caters to the world’s fourth-biggest rail network, made a stellar debut on stock exchanges last October.
The broader Indian online travel segment is dominated by the likes of MakeMyTrip, Cleartrip and Yatra. Chiratae had first invested in Yatra in 2014.
In recent years, a few travel-tech startups have also attracted investors’ attention. In February, for instance, Stelling Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which operates train travel and ticketing platform RailYatri, raised Rs 100 crore in an extended Series B round.