India-based mobility startup Chalo has raised $40 million in a Series C funding round led by Filter Capital and Lightrock India along with participation from its existing investors-Raine Venture Partners, WaterBridge Ventures, Amit Singhal (former SVP, Google), Neeraj Arora (Former Chief Business Officer, WhatsApp).
“Public transport is the backbone to build a larger mobility platform addressing mobility needs at scale. We are impressed by the founding team’s innovative, and technology-led approach combined with a deep sense of purpose to serve the society,” said Vaidhehi Ravindran, partner, Lightrock.
Chalo will be utilizing the fresh infusion of funds in deepening its presence in India and expanding internationally. The startup will also invest in technologies and plans to invest $10 million of the proceeds to buyback ESOPs to reward its employees, while also enabling exits for early investors.
Chalo has built a tech stack for India to digitize bus operations to offer a technology-driven digital bus experience. The startup’s tech platform aims to improve the passenger experience while optimizing bus operations to improve ridership and utilization.
Mohit Dubey, CEO, Chalo said, “Buses are India’s number one form of public transport holding 48% of travel share. Despite this, the experience is broken. At Chalo, we deploy technology that significantly improves the bus experience, and thereby increases ridership. We are glad to find partners like Lightrock and Filter Capital who share our vision of creating a positive impact on society and the environment.”
Founded in 2015 by Mohit Dubey, Dhruv Chopra, Priya Singh, Nikhil Aggarwal, and Vinayak Bhavnani, Chalo aims to make public transport accessible, hassle-free, and affordable for the commuters in India.
Chalo’s platform enables passengers to live track their bus and track its arrival in real-time, thus eliminating waiting time for passengers at the bus stop. Passengers can also see how crowded the bus is and can buy a bus pass or a ticket through its app. It also offers a card that offers digital bus tickets to those who are not familiar with making payments via smartphones. Chalo’s tap-to-pay experience eliminates cash dealing in the bus.
In September 2021, the startup claims to have powered 20 million bus rides. Chalo provides live tracking of more than 15000 buses across 11 states of India.
Earlier this year, Chalo had raised $7 million in equity funding.