Intra-city bus commute startup Cityflo has raised Rs 57 crore or $8 million in its Series A funding round led by Lightbox Ventures. The fresh investment has come for the Mumbai-based firm after a gap of five years. It raised a seed round from IDG Ventures (now Chiratae) in 2015.
Existing investor India Quotient also participated in the round.
With the latest infusion, Cityflo is eyeing to expand and bolster its existing operations. According to the company’s press release, it would increase presence on heavy traffic routes and build the service as a go-to brand for Mumbai’s large working population
Floated by Sankalp Kelshikar,Subhash Sundaravadivelu, Rushabh Shah, Ankit Agrawal and Advaith Vishwanath, the company has a large network of bus partners. As per its website, it has a fleet of 2,000 buses of different sizes (tempo travellers, prime and luxury buses) in Thane and Mumbai.
Cityflo’s financing is a good sign for the mobility sector in India that has been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic. Apart from Ola and Uber, office commute platforms including Shuttl and Cityflo had experienced no business for over two months (April-May).
To cope up with the loss of business, Shuttl fired over 50 employees in April. The Toyota-backed firm has also been exploring overseas markets and entered Thailand recently. Entrackr had exclusively reported the development in September.
Analysts and market watchers contemplate that the office commute space has recovered to some extent in terms of business volume in the past three-four months. However, they emphasised it’s below 50% as compared to pre-Covid peak.
Currently, there are only a handful of companies operating in the office commute space. Shuttl and Cityflo are the prominent players while ZipGo had shut down its operations due to lack of funds. Essel Group had committed Rs 300 crore investment in ZipGo, but it backed out at the later stage.