IAN Invests Rs 2Cr In Real-time Traffic Tracker Birds Eye Systems

Mumbai-based tech startup Birds Eye Systems Pvt Ltd, a company specialising in intelligent traffic monitoring solutions, has received Rs 2 crore ($400,000) as angel funding from Indian Angel Network. The investment will go towards expanding the company's footprint across the country, enhancing the scope of services and further development of the product.

IAN members Rajiv Dadlani and Nitin Agarwal have joined the board of Birds Eye Systems.

Birds Eye was started by Brijraj Vaghani and Ravi Khemani in March 2009 and its flagship product Traffline (a low-cost, real-time traffic monitoring system that broadcasts live traffic conditions for road commuters) was launched in January this year. The company also launched a taxi-booking service in September 2011 and it now claims to be serving more than 15,000 customers in this space while Traffline has around 1,000 unique visitors per day (including Web and mobile).

"Our product is built on a platform that continuously analyses live vehicle movements and displays results on Traffline.com. The results are available in a text format on m.traffline.com (suitable for mobile phones) while you get them in both text and map formats on the Web. Our taxi-booking app also runs on all mobile phones," said Khemani.

Currently, Birds Eye's services are available in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore, and the company is planning to expand it to Hyderabad, Chennai and Kolkata in the next six months.

The firm had also received Rs 15 lakh from the Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) last August.

According to IAN member Rajiv Dadlani, "Birds Eye System's real-time traffic tracking and monitoring solution solves one of the biggest pains that commuters face in the country – traffic, to be precise. We were impressed by the team's technology competency, the continuous focus on execution and a flexible mindset with a clear objective disposition – all essential ingredients for success."

According to the company, commuters can reduce road travel time by almost 20 per cent by using Traffline. It also plans to integrate additional external sources with the Traffline platform to offer a wider coverage. The company will soon offer customised solutions to map providers (which they can use to add value to their products) and logistics companies.

As of now, the Traffline service comes free of cost but the company will look at generating revenues from paid mobile apps, indirect revenues from ads and by providing logistics solutions to cab companies, among others.

In 2011, IAN invested in a deal each month, totalling a little over $8 million. Its portfolio companies also leveraged IAN's investments with another $27 million from the next round of funding, thus bringing the total to over $35 million.

In 2012, IAN has already invested in three companies – Rs 3.25 crore in Mumbai-based Peel-Works, a Cloud-enabled sales force transformation and BPO firm; around $1 million in Gamiana Digital Gaming Pvt Ltd, a three-year-old Mumbai-based digital gaming startup and $0.5 million in Chennai-based StayZilla.com, a hotel booking site.