Minibus service provider Shuttl has raised $1 million (around INR 7.3 crores) in debt funding from Trifecta Capital, as reported by VCCircle. However, the deal has not yet been confirmed by either Trifecta Capital or Shuttl.
The Gurugram-based startup has earlier raised $11 million in series B funding from Amazon and Japan-based Dentsu Ventures along with other existing investors. In December 2015, the startup raised $20 million in series A round from Sequoia Capital. Other venture capital firms including Times Internet, Lightspeed Venture Partners and AdvantEdge Partners also participated in the round in 2015.
Founded by Amit Singh and Deepanshu Malviya, Shuttl is an app based bus commute provider which helps passengers to book and travel conveniently through its chain of high-frequency AC buses. The startup currently operates in Delhi-NCR with pilot programs running all over Pune and Kolkata. Shuttl currently servers over 30,000 users with a fleet of more than 500 buses across 50 routes every day.
As per an MCA filing by the startup, it recorded an operating revenue of INR 14.34 crores in the financial year 2016-2017 compared to INR 2.23 crores in the previous financial year. However, the net losses of Shuttl increased from INR 52.54 crores in 2015-2016 to INR 59.07 crores in 2016-2017.
Shuttl competes with other players like ZipGo and Cityflo. ZipGo raised INR 200 crores in series B round of funding from Essel Group in August this year. Cityflo also raised $750K in seed funding from Chiratae Ventures (earlier known as IDG Ventures India). Last month, Hyderabad based minibus provider Commut was acquired by UAE-based Careem which proved beneficial for Shuttl. As Careem don’t have any expansion plans in India, Shuttl absorbed Commut’s customers and drivers.
India taxi market stood at around $ 6.4 billion in 2016 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 13.7% during 2017 – 2022, to reach $ 14.3 billion. Surging demand for taxi services in India can be attributed to changing lifestyles of travellers and increasing disposable income of consumers, especially in Tier-I and Tier-II cities.
The market is witnessing increasing traction as taxis offer hassle-free travel experience to customers in addition to various other tangible and intangible offerings such as booking convenience through mobile applications, air conditioning, educated and skilled drivers, multiple payment options, 24×7 customer support, electronic fare meters, GPS enabled vehicles, etc.