Intercity Mobility Startup zingbus Raises $6 Mn Funding From Infoedge Ventures And Others The freshly raised funds will be utilized to develop technology for the next leap of improvement in traveler experience and expand the service to new geographies
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Intercity mobility startup zingbus announced on Tuesday that it has raised $6 million as a pre-Series A round led by Infoedge ventures. The round also saw participation from an impressive line of other investors from Silicon Valley like Funders Club, Pioneer fund, Anim Fund (Founders Fund Scout), Locus ventures, and Liquid 2 Ventures. Existing investors Advantedge technology fund, 9 Unicorns, and Venture Catalyst also invested.
"We see the pandemic as a black swan event for the entire intercity bus industry. It has upended this unorganized, highly fragmented, and mainly unbranded market. The current industry dynamics are such that we find ourselves in a unique position to build something precious quickly! Pandemic has led to higher expectations of hygiene and safety from customers. Contactless, hassle-free boarding process, amongst other technology tools, has helped us fulfill this post-covid need beautifully. Once the traveler associates zingbus's brand with safety, they prefer it over others. Simultaneously by building tools for audits, boarding, and demand management, we have been able to help struggling traditional fleet owners in coping with the operational challenges with minimum manpower investment from their side in a post lockdown world. We are committed to build technology promoting safety and affordability of services and create sustainable mobility infrastructure. We are running projects which would make bus travel much more attractive for customers like door-to-door connections, value-added services, and much more. We are very thankful to get the backing of our investors who have believed in our vision and venture; with their constant support, we hope to build zingbus a profitable, scalable, and sustainable venture," said Prashant Kumar, chief executive officer, zingbus.
The company has also received backing from a clutch of value-adding angels like NFL fame Joe Montana, Alan Rutledge, John Jersin, Ankur Nagpal, Vinod Gupta, Ben McCan, and Harry Robertson among others.
Founded in 2019 by Prashant Kumar, Mratunjay, and Ravi Kumar Verma, zingbus has been part of the YCombinator 2021 winter batch.
"We are very excited to partner with the Zingbus team in their journey to utilize technology for building a sustainable, shared mobility company delivering a consistent, high-quality experience to bus travelers in India. The team has a unique combination of tech and logistics expertise with best-in-class capital efficiency. Very few travel and mobility companies have seen strong growth with robust unit economics despite Covid disruptions, so we have immense confidence in the execution," shared Kitty Agarwal, partner, Infoedge ventures.
The startup aims to make safe and reliable travel accessible for everyone. It aggregates fleets of buses to deliver an end-to-end standardized intercity travel experience to its customers. Even amidst the ongoing pandemic, zingbus has become one of the most popular bus travel brands in the country, connecting more than 100 cities and towns across the country.
"The company has seen remarkable post-lockdown tailwinds, the kind of resilience and growth we've seen in other world-class consumer tech startups. Now more than ever, commuters want their journeys to be clean and safe, affordable, and reliable, and they want the freedom to expand the cities in which they regularly work, study, and socialize. Zingbus is leveraging technology to give consumers the modern bus ride experiences they're demanding, and to give bus fleet partners the ability to optimize earnings via software and data," commented Alex Mittal, chief executive officer, FundersClub.
The freshly raised funds will be utilized to develop technology for the next leap of improvement in traveler experience and expand the service to new geographies. The startup is also hiring across engineering, product, business, and operations profiles.
"We were taken by Zingbus' bold, accessible and sustainable vision of making bus travel comfortable for everyone in India. Their meticulous attention to detail and relentless execution blew us away. We are very excited to be a part of Zingbus' journey to transform bus journeys," noted Rajiv Bhat, senior venture partner, Pioneer Fund.
zingbus has already restarted its operations after the second wave subsided and aims to run over 250 buses by the end of this year. The startup, with its carefully designed safety practices and all of its crew vaccinated, travelers already see zingbus as their "safest' mode of travel.
"We have seen the team grow and evolve over the past two years and been impressed with how they have navigated through a once-in-a-lifetime crisis with extraordinary maturity and tenacity. Their deep insights into the intercity mobility space are impeccable, and their vision for the future of shared mobility is inspiring. We look forward to continuing to work with them to build one of the most successful and loved mobility brands," added Kunal Khattar, managing partner, Advantedge Founders Fund.
Flixbus, which zingbus lists as its global counterpart, has recently raised $650 million from General Atlantic, Blackrock, Silverlake, and Canyon partners, one of the largest intercity mobility operators worldwide.