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Exclusive: RailYatri raises Rs 100 Cr round led by NRJN Family and Samsung


Updated: IntrCity RailYatri has raised Rs 100 crore in a fresh round led by Nandan Nilekani and Samsung Venture Investment. This round also saw participation from other existing investors, Omidyar Network and Blume Ventures.

The latest investments will be used to expand RailYatri’s IntrCity SmartBus network and enhance the tech platform. The company intend to expand its SmartBus fleet to 300 from the current 84 in the next few months and it is on track for a managed fleet of 2000 by 2022.

Earlier version: Many startups succumb to building solutions around train travel in India but a few survived and thrived. One of them is RailYatri. While the six-year-old firm didn’t raise a lot of capital, it managed to grow at a decent pace. To accelerate further growth, the firm has raised Rs 80 crore in a fresh round.

According to regulatory filings, Entrust Family Office (NRJN Family Services) has infused Rs 43.02 crore in RailYatri while Samsung Venture Investment put in Rs 14.02 crore. ON Mauritius (Omidyar Network) has invested Rs 11.58 crore and Milestone Trusteeship (Blume Ventures) injected Rs 10.08 crore.

The round seems to be a bridge one as the aforementioned investors picked up Series B shares. Two years ago, RailYatri reportedly picked up a $10 million Series B round from existing investors.

With this round, the company has raised about Rs 166 crore ($23 million) in total funding since its inception in 2014. At present, it is estimated to have 30-35 million monthly active users (MAUs) and clocks around 400K transactions a month.

Besides offering train ticket information and services, the company also started an intercity bus service — IntrCity SmartBus — last year. It runs a bus service under its branding across 20 cities such as Delhi–Lucknow, Delhi–Kanpur, Mumbai–Pune, Bengaluru–Hyderabad, and Chennai–Coimbatore among others.

Last year, RailYatri also launched a ‘flexi-ticket’ feature that allows users to make last-minute changes to their plans when finding reservation in trains isn’t available. 

As far as the financial health of RailYatri in FY19 is concerned, it had operating revenue of Rs 12.16 crore while its losses surged to Rs 39.43 crore. So far, the firm has accumulated losses of Rs 82.4 crore.

On the competition front, the Noida-based company competes with Google-owned Whereismytrain, Ixigo’s train vertical, ConfirmTKT, Trainman and several others. Since making money from offering train-related information and services isn’t easy, RailYatri’s focus on IntrCity SmartBus appears to be a meaningful move. 

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