New Delhi, India, July 30, 2018 — Shuttl, Indian bus-hailing service, receives $11m series B funding from Dentsu Ventures, Amazon, Times Internet, Sequoia Capital, and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Founded in 2015, the startup managed to increase their user base to 50,000 customers per day, with more than 700 buses, transporting people even across cities in India.
The Shuttl advantage
The startup, managed by Super Highway Labs Pvt. Ltd., advertises their small buses to be more flexible and more comfortable than a regular commuting bus in Indian cities, while still being affordable. Passengers get their own reserved seat, and the coach is fully equipped with an air conditioning system to keep the users cool even in the harsh temperatures of the Indian subcontinent.
Further Dentsu states that Shuttl is a safe way to commute to work or schools and that they are supporting their business development such as implementing an in-vehicle media system that could be used for marketing services. It’s unclear how a new kind of bus service is going to solve traffic congestion and pollution problems, but this is perhaps measured against the case of every passenger using a personal vehicle, not measured against a traditional bus of the competition. They could make a difference if they were to use electric vehicles in though, but they are currently not.
How does Shuttl work?
The overall experience works together with their smartphone app. Users can download the app and use it to “hail” a Shuttl bus and check for optimized travel routes. As the bus is designed for a smaller group of people, in comparison to other bus types by other operators, there are fewer stops, making the overall trip a lot faster. You can see Shuttl vehicles in real-time on the app and “chirp” at them if you want to join the ride.
If the Shuttl business model continues to work out as it had in recent years, it might be possible that they will also extend to other cities outside of India. I would also like to try them out at some point in the future. You can try their mobile website here, to get a better understanding of the solution, even if the app is not available in your region.
YouTube: Promotional initiative with interior footage