Shuttl, a Gurgaon-based urban mobility startup backed by Sequoia Capital, Times Internet, and Lightspeed Ventures, has raised $11 million in a Series B financing round. The round was led by Amazon, in connection with the Amazon Alexa Fund, and Dentsu Ventures along with existing investors. The investment will help Shuttl consolidate its leadership position in the technology-enabled seat-based bus mobility market. The investment will also allow Shuttl to expand its geographical reach and serve more consumers across Indian cities, which are severely congested and where commuters have limited reliable, safe and cost-efficient options to commute.
Speaking on the occasion, Amit Singh, CEO and Co-Founder, Shuttl said, "At Shuttl our mission is to take the pain away from everyone’s commute and reduce congestion in cities via a seat-based smart bus option. We have shown that this can be done at scale. We will continue to improve the consumer experience, design more routes, and restore the dignity of commuting for millions of people. We're very excited about this new round of investment, and welcome Amazon and Dentsu Ventures to be a part of this exciting journey.”
Paul Bernard, Director, Amazon Alexa Fund, which fuels voice technology startups added, "Millions of people use shared transportation options for their everyday commute. Voice represents a new, convenient way for them to manage these types of daily routines, and we look forward to supporting Shuttl as they work to deliver this experience to Amazon Alexa customers across India."
Founded in January 2015 by Amit Singh and Deepanshu Malviya, Shuttl’s smart buses serve 45,000 rides daily in Delhi-NCR and are present in 7 cities across India, including pilots in Kolkata and Pune. Currently the company operates 800 buses and 150 routes. It has about 60,000 monthly active users.
Since buses are more road-space and carbon-efficient than cars, Shuttl’s model is able to reduce congestion and pollution with a single solution. This shift from cars to smart buses has potential to transform India’s car-dependent transport sector to a more sustainable one based on shared mobility. In last three years, by digitally enabling drivers-partners and transporters, Shuttl has created and supported 250+ small entrepreneurs in the transport sector. Shuttl also remains committed to adding technology enabled safety features, like face-recognition and live -CCTV feed, which are particularly important for working women.
Other bus aggregation startups are such as Bangalore-based ZipGo and Mumbai-based Cityflo. In April 2017, ZipGo had raised Rs 33.4 crore ($5.2 million) in a Series A funding round co-led by ON Mauritius, part of Omidyar Network, and Chennai-based early-stage investment firm VenturEast Advisors. In November 2015, Cityflo had secured $750,000 (Rs 4.9 crore) in seed funding from IDG Ventures and an unnamed investor.
Amazon Alexa Fund which was founded in 2015, has invested in more than 40 companies, and recently announced another $100 million in funding to support the next wave of voice startups around the world.