India’s #1 bus transport technology company, Chalo, has raised $45 million and secured $12 million in debt to further develop its mobility products and launch in more international markets. The company is introducing innovation in India’s underserved bus market by putting GPS devices on buses and offering a multi-modal public transport network solution.
Indian startup Chalo, which is striving to improve bus commutes, has raised $45 million in a new investment round and secured an additional $12 million in debt as it focuses on further developing its mobility products and launching in more international markets.
Avataar Ventures was the venture funding company that took the lead during the Series D fundraising round. Along with the company’s already established backers, such as Lightrock India and WaterBridge Ventures, Amit Singhal, a former executive at Google, also contributed to the funding. The debt was financed by Trifecta as well as Stride Ventures. The total amount of funding that Chalo has raised now stands at $119 million after receiving this capital injection.
The man who is responsible for Chalo, Mohit Dubey, was also the founder of CarWale, an online marketplace for buying and selling new and old automobiles. In an earlier interview with TechCrunch, Dubey stated that after working for CarWale for ten years, he came to the conclusion that his startup, along with many other businesses of a similar nature, only served three percent of India’s total population.
On the other hand, the core of Chalo’s business is providing bus operators with the tools necessary to make the switch to digital payment methods and easing the tracking of commutes. Even though there is a severe lack of buses in India, the market for buses in the country has the potential to be worth $20 billion. This is approximately double the size of the market for taxis.
In a region that is still mostly underserved, the scarcity of buses—there are only three for every 10,000 persons, for example—presents an ideal environment for the introduction of innovation. Inefficiencies such as paying for fares with cash, having restricted availability of monthly passes, and having unpredictable bus timetables are some of the problems that Chalo is seeking to solve.
The company has been in business for eight years and puts GPS devices on buses. This gives consumers the ability to watch the progress of their commute in real time using the company’s namesake app, which also sells tickets and monthly passes.
According to the firm, Chalo, which is now active in over 50 cities and tracks more than 15,000 buses across India, has experienced a constant increase in ridership because to the efficiency that its platform delivers. The company has, over the course of its existence, acquired the Amazon-backed startup Shuttl in order to broaden the scope of its product offerings and has also forayed into the realm of electric bicycles by way of the Vogo brand.
Our capabilities have expanded dramatically over the course of the past two years. According to a statement released by Dubey on Monday, “We have strengthened our core business of city buses, and we now offer a multi-modal public transport network solution to cities, which encompasses city buses, premium buses, and first and last mile connectivity.”
Chalo intends to increase the number of electric vehicles in its fleet and proceed with its international expansion into more countries. The company already has a presence in Southeast Asia.