Rodeo Travel Technologies, which runs Railofy, an online waitlist and reservation against cancellation (RAC) protection platform for the Indian railways, on Thursday said it raised Rs 7 crore (about $955,000) in a seed funding round from Chiratae Ventures.
The Mumbai-based startup offers alternative travel tickets for passengers without confirmed train tickets and for those on the waitlist.
The fresh capital will help the startup’s pan-India expansion plans and enable it to solve a waitlist problem that affects over 300 million railway passenger trips annually in the country, a statement said.
With the waitlist and RAC protection, the company provides customers flight tickets in case of long journeys, and bus tickets in case of short distances, at nominal prices, if their train tickets are not confirmed after chart preparation.
“This ensures that passengers reach their destination conveniently, in time, and at the lowest possible price, ultimately introducing predictability into the overall travel experience,” Railofy said in the statement.
The price for flight or bus options is fixed at the time of purchasing waitlist and RAC protection, thus shielding the customer from last-minute rising fares. Railofy also said that passengers can buy the product from its portal for about Rs 200, with the plans starting at Rs 50.
The company ran its first trial in January 2020 on select trains originating from Mumbai to witness a strong consumer interest with over 60,000 visits in 1.5 months, it said.
The startup was founded in 2019 by ISB alumnus Rohan Dedhia, IIT alumnus Vaibhav Saraf and IIM alumnus Hrishabh Sanghvi.
“This platform is dedicated to every railway passenger who could not finish their journey because of an unconfirmed ticket... leaving them with either expensive alternatives, dealing with unreliable agents, or altogether canceling their plans. We aim to replace these derailed experiences with stories of convenience and comfort, affordable and timely travel,” the founders said in a joint statement.
Late last month, Bengaluru-based venture capital firm Chiratae Ventures received an investment commitment of $10 million from British development bank CDC Group for its fourth fund.