[Funding Alert] Yolobus Raises $3.3 Mln In Series A Round Led By Nexus Venture Partners
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Yolobus, an intercity transportation start-up, said on Monday it has raised $3.3 million in a Series A round of funding led by Nexus Venture Partners. India Quotient also participated in the investment round.
Founded in 2019 by Shailesh Gupta, Mukul Shah, and Danish Chopra, who took inspiration from their personal woes of travelling via existing intercity buses that promised luxury, the company provides full-stack bus services.
Presently touching 10-12 locations and managing close to 30 buses, Gupta told Entrepreneur India that the plan is to onboard over 200 buses by the end of this year, cautioning however that the Coronavirus pandemic could potentially change this number.
The Gurugram-based company said the fresh funds will be used to double down on investments across technology, customer and crew safety and sanitisation as well as expansion plans across geographies.
"This funding is a reiteration of our promise to keep improving our services keeping in mind the market need of safety and hygiene, especially," said chief operating officer Shah, in a statement.
How the company operates is it partners with existing bus operators, standardizes their fleet and works with them on a revenue-sharing model. It said it aims to provide airline-level services such as bus captains, high-speed Wi-Fi, washrooms, food and beverages, device charging points.
"By integrating operations and technology in the system, we are also strategizing to bring on more dynamic routes on board, ensuring a safe and convenient travel experience to our hundreds of thousands of customers," said Chopra.
Steps Taken Due To COVID-19
This investment also comes at a particularly difficult time for businesses across the travel and hospitality industry, with the Coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdowns pulling activity down and in many cases, to a grounding halt.
To deal with the safety concerns that have risen due to the pandemic, Yolobus has introduced a sanitization tunnel for each passenger before onboarding. The captain, along with the bus driver and staff will also be wearing personal protective equipment kits.
Speaking on the aspect of safety, Gupta said, “Yolobus will resume its operations with extensive precautionary measures for every trip. Every passenger will be checked with infra-red temperature measuring guns before onboarding. Customers will be able to pre-order essential PPE kits and know the temperature of the bus crew members before boarding the bus."
As part of the deal, Suvir Sujan, managing director of Nexus Venture Partners and Anand Lunia, general partner at India Quotient will be joining the Yolobus board.
“Since the days of bus aggregators, we have had a sea change in use of technology. Cabs are an example of this change. The bus ride, a primary mode of inter-city travel, is still stuck in the previous decade. I am confident that Yolobus will bring in a full-stack experience to the bus ride - the convenience of an Ola cab and the efficiency of Indigo airlines," said Lunia.