Exclusive: India Quotient, People Group’s Anupam Mittal back bus aggregator Cityflo

Exclusive: India Quotient, People Group’s Anupam Mittal back bus aggregator Cityflo
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Pexels

Intra-city bus shuttle operator Cityflo has raised funding from People Group founder Anupam Mittal and venture capital firm India Quotient, two people aware of the development told TechCircle

Mumbai-based Komorebi Tech Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates Cityflo, received the investment over the course of the past two months, one of the people cited above said on the condition of anonymity.

India Quotient made the infusion through its investment vehicle, IQ Alpha III, the second person added.

The deal value could not be immediately ascertained.

E-mail queries sent to Cityflo founders Jerin Venad and Sankalp Kelshikar, India Quotient and Anupam Mittal did not yield a response till the time of publishing this report.

The fresh investment comes three-and-a-half years after Cityflo had raised $750,000 (Rs 4.9 crore then) in seed funding from IDG Ventures (now Chiratae) and an unnamed investor.

The urban transportation startup was founded in 2015 by Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay graduates Venad,  Kelshikar,Subhash Sundaravadivelu, Rushabh Shah, Ankit Agrawal and Advaith Vishwanath.

Cityflo, which offers its services through a mobile app on both Android and iOS devices, operates only in Mumbai.

At last count, the company offered services on more than 10 routes with a fleet of 60 buses and offered more than 2,200 customer rides daily. However, its latest figures are not available.

The Cityflo app has been downloaded more than 50,000 times on the Google Play Store.

The company collects ticketing revenue from customers and charges bus operators for its services. Besides, it also offers its bus fleet for private rentals and corporate uses.

Players in the intra-city bus shuttle segment have had mixed fortunes so far even as they position themselves as an alternative and affordable mode of urban commute for consumers. Some of the other funded players in this segment include Shuttl and ZipGo.

Recent activity in the segment

Fundraising activity has spiked in the segment of late after a prolonged lull.

May 2019: TechCircle reported that Amazon-backed Shuttl was raising up to $6 million (Rs 42 crore then) as part of the startup’s ongoing $20 million round.

March 2019: Shuttl raised around $8 million from venture capital firms Sequoia Capital India and Lightspeed Venture Partners along with Times Internet, a subsidiary of media company Bennett, Coleman and Co Ltd (BCCL).

February 2019: Media reports stated that bus-pooling app ZipGo Technologies Pvt. Ltd was shutting down its Bengaluru and Mumbai operations nearly seven months after a commitment for funding worth Rs 300 crore from the Essel Group