Bengaluru-based EV bus startup FreshBus has raised Rs 26 crore in a seed round from travel tech platform ixigo. This is the maiden funding for a three year old startup.
FreshBus will deploy funds to launch premium inter-city electric bus services across India, it added in the press release.
The smart bus platform will run on a full-stack model with a wide range of services including noise-free air-conditioned cabin, comfortable seating, uniformed and friendly crew, IOT-enabled real-time air-quality and temperature monitoring, security CCTVs, personal charging docks, Wi-Fi among others.
FreshBus claims that it will commence its services simultaneously from Hyderabad and Bengaluru with the launch of 24 electric buses and is expected to announce its first operational routes in March 2023. The startup plans to scale up its operations to over 1000 buses across the country by 2026.
FreshBus was founded by Sudhakar Reddy Chirra, who earlier built bus aggregator Abhibus which was acquired by ixigo in August 2021 in a cash and stock business transfer agreement.
The IPO-bound ixigo is set to go public and filed a draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) to raise Rs 1,600 crore in August 2021. As of now, Ixigo has raised Rs 433 crore including a $53 million round led by Singapore-based GIC in July 2021.