Chalo raised $45 Mn in an equity funding round led by Avataar Ventures, with participation from Lightrock India, WaterBridge Ventures, and others
The startup raised the remaining additional $12 Mn as venture debt from Trifecta and Stride Ventures, taking total capital raised till date to $119 Mn
Chalo will use the funding to fuel its next phase of growth by onboarding more electric buses and e-bikes
Mobility startup Chalo has raised a funding of $57 Mn (INR 472.2 Cr), in a mix of debt and equity, as part of its Series D round.
Of this, $45 Mn was raised through equity funding in a round led by Avataar Ventures, with participation from existing investors such as Lightrock India, WaterBridge Ventures, former Google executive Amit Singhal, among others. The startup raised the remaining $12 Mn in venture debt from Trifecta and Stride Ventures.
The fresh capital was raised at a valuation of $400 Mn-$450 Mn, a company source told Inc42.
Chalo will use the funding to fuel its next phase of growth by onboarding more electric buses and e-bikes. It also plans to deploy the capital to enter new international markets and to shore up its tech stack to ensure complete digitisation of its buses.
“In the last two years, our capabilities have grown significantly. We have strengthened our core business of city buses, and now offer a multi-modal public transport network solution to cities, encompassing city buses, premium buses, and first and last-mile connectivity. This is a large step forward in our journey to make everyday travel better for everyone,” said Chalo cofounder and chief executive officer (CEO) Mohit Dubey.
The public announcement came hours after reports surfaced that Chalo raised $20 Mn in funding from Avataar Ventures at a valuation of $295 Mn, down from $365 Mn in 2021.
Founded in 2014 by auto marketplace CarWale’s cofounder Dubey and Vinayak Bhavnani, Chalo operates a full-stack tech platform that allows bus owners to digitise their operations by adding features such as live tracking and digital payments. On the other hand, commuters can avail services such as live arrival time, live tracking and bus cards.
Chalo also operates premium office commuter buses in Delhi and Kolkata under the name Shuttl. It also has a vertical called Vogo which offers EV bikes for first and last-mile connectivity.
The startup last raised $40 Mn as part of its Series C funding round led by Lightrock India and Filter Capital. Till date, it has raised $119 Mn in multiple funding rounds from multiple investors.
The startup claims that it is operational in 51 cities and live tracks 15,000 buses across Mumbai, Chennai, Lucknow, among other cities. It also has a presence in international markets like the Philippines and Thailand.
Despite big plans, Chalo’s net loss doubled to INR 66.4 Cr in FY22 from INR 33 Cr in FY21. Operating revenue grew to INR 35.75 Cr from INR 26.17 Cr in FY21.
The funding round comes at a time when the mobility sector is witnessing an influx of capital, especially into big-ticket startups. This has largely come amid growing overtures towards electrification of fleet and sops to adopt EVs in the country.
Earlier this month, early-stage VC fund AdvantEdge launched its third fund, under which it plans to invest $80-$100 Mn in mobility solutions companies. Prior to that, EV mobility giant BluSmart Mobility bagged $42 Mn in a funding round in April.
In April, Mumbai-based EV startup Magenta Mobility also raised $22 Mn in its Series A1 funding round from energy giant bp and Morgan Stanley India infrastructure.
As per a report, the homegrown shared mobility segment is projected to reach a market size of $101.80 Bn by 2027.