Exclusive: Daily commute app ZopHop gets $450K from top angels

29 Oct, 2015

ZopHop, a mobile-tech startup that suggests faster and cheaper ways to get around a city, has raised $450,000 (Rs 2.9 crore) in seed funding from Google executive Amit Singhal, angel investor PK Gulati and 10 others.

Anupam Mittal, CEO, People Group; Hero Choudhary, portfolio manager, J Goldman & Co; Jeenendra Bhandari, partner, MGB & Co; Times Internet CEO Satyan Gajwani and six unnamed investors participated in the funding round.

ZopHop Technologies Pvt Ltd, will use the funds for product and team development, co-founder and CEO Vinayak Bhavnani told Techcircle.in. The Mumbai-based startup also plans to expand in India and overseas markets.

"There are two billion people who travel daily in emerging countries, facing the same challenges as we have in India," said Bhavnani. "Our core focus in 2016 will be global expansion and user acquisition."

ZopHop wants to be a one-stop travel app for commuters by showing timings and schedules for bus, train and metro in each city. It also shows the nearest available Ola or Uber cab. For buses, the app provides real-time information including the estimated time of arrival. The app throws up details such as cost, journey time and availability. In addition, it shows real-time movement of traffic in local languages.

The startup employs 15 staffers and plans to augment the headcount to launch its app on the iOS platform.

Currently, ZopHop is available on Google Play Store across 15 cities. It will add two more cities to its network by the end of this year.

Bhavnani claims that the ZopHop app has been downloaded about 200,000 times since it was launched in December last year.

ZopHop was started by Bhavnani and Jiyoung Lee. Bhavnani is an alumnus of IIT Delhi with a background in computer science, mobile technologies and real-time high scale communication products. Jiyoung has nine years of product and marketing experience at GE Healthcare.

ZopHop competes with global names such as Moovit and CityMapper. In India, it would compete with players such as m-Indicator, Ridlr and Traffline for market share. Mumbai-based Birds Eye Systems Pvt Ltd, which operates Traffline and Ridlr, had secured an undisclosed amount in funding from Qualcomm Ventures last year.

Singhal and Gulati, the lead investors in ZopHop, run an early-stage investment fund called SmartStart. The India, UAE and Silicon Valley-based fund has invested in startups such as GOQii, Oneshop, Edcast, Shifu and Youplus.