Delhi’s peak-hour traffic jams are legendary. So when Shuttl started its daily commute services in 2015, allowing commuters to book seats on company-operated minibuses, it was an idea whose time had come. Today, it runs around 800 buses on 150 routes, largely in the National Capital Region. It serves 45,000 users daily and offers five million rides a month.
“We first wanted to solve problems for intercity travel but soon realised that the problems encountered while travelling within cities were more profound. The services that currently exist are overpriced or overcrowded and this affects their productivity,” said Amit Singh, co-founder, Shuttl. Singh and Deepanshu Malviya, who had worked together in e-commerce firm Jabong, started Shuttl in April 2015. “We started with a few Innovas on a short route and it grew from there,” he added. That growth came from investments that followed in the coming months. In June 2015, Sequoia Capital put in $3 million in the start-up and in December 2015, Shuttl raised $20 million from Lightspeed Ventures and Times Internet along with Sequoia. Late last month,it announced that it had raised $11 million in a Series B-investment round led by Amazon and Japanese corporate venture capital fund Dentsu Ventures.
The start-up has adopted a subscription-based revenue model. The price per ride ranges from Rs 65 to Rs 120 depending on the commute distance, usually 20-70 km. According to Shuttl, while it sells ride passes, majority of the customers opt for the subscription model. The coaches are 18-35 seaters depending on the route.
Shuttl has both B2C and B2B models. In the B2C model, consumers directly book a bus through the Shuttl app, with some exclusive routes designed for certain corporates. In the B2B model, the commuters have to register and reserve a seat on a bus. Premium services like onboard entertainment, Wi-Fi can be added as per the client’s need. Shuttl has also partnered with streaming platform VuLiv since March this year to provide in-ride entertainment to commuters. Singh says that in the next six to 12 months, Shuttl will expand its operations to two or three new cities.
Shuttl’s filings with the MCA show that its revenue increased seven times from Rs 2.23 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 14.34 crore in FY 2016-17. However, its net loss grew to Rs 59.07 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 52.54 crore in the previous fiscal.
By Aniruddha Ghosh
Source: Financial Express