Train travel startup RailYatri has raised funds in Series B round led by impact investor Omidyar Network. Existing investors of the Noida-based crowdsourced platform including Nandan Nilekani, Blume Ventures, and Helion Venture Partners also participated in the round.
The quantum of the investment couldn’t be verified, however, according to an earlier ET report published in February, the capital infusion was expected to the tune of $10 million.
With the fresh funding round, the railway information provider platform will plan to expand into hotels and holiday sectors. The startup is also hiring freshers across verticals.
Founded by Manish Rathi, Kapil Raizada and Sachin Saxena in 2011, the travel app provides comprehensive information on trains, passenger amenities at stations, along with personalised alerts via the mobile app, mobile web, and SMS.
The travel marketplace also enables booking of essential services such as high-quality onboard meals, bus tickets, budget rooms, etc.
With 13 million strong active user base, the startup targets the figure of 50 million in the next two-three years.
Earlier in January, RailYatri acqui-hired food technology firm YatraChef to boost its food-on-rail service, counts train tickets, bus tickets, and food. Notably, these verticals count almost 90 per cent of the company’s revenue share.
Since its inception, RailYatri has raised about $6 million excluding this round from the aforementioned investors. The last funding came in October 2016 for the travel app and the amount remained undisclosed.
In rail information providing space, a slew of startups such as Trainman, Confirmtkt, Ticket Jugaad, and Travelkhana also raised funds in the past. As RailYatri also operates in hotel, bus, and cab booking, it will face tough competition from big players like MakeMyTrip, goibibo, Yatra, and others.
With the mushrooming of travel apps in India, the Indian Railways is also considering the use Artificial Intelligence and IoT via chatbots. These chatbots are similar to social media applications like Skype or Facebook messenger and ideal for customer service purposes. It is considered as one of the fastest means of addressing a passenger’s enquiry.