Just two months after raising $3 Mn in Series A funding, online bus booking platform Travelyaari, has closed its Series B funding round worth $7 Mn. The investment was led by Gujarat Venture Finance Limited (GVFL), Bennett Coleman & Co. Ltd (the Times Group) and a few other investors.
The raised funds will be used to further augment its service network and increase the online penetration. It plans to integrate more than 5000+ service providers along with more channel partners and agents in next few months. Travelyaari will also be looking to increase its customer base by targetting the middle class segment across India.
Based in Bengaluru , Travelyaari was founded in 2007 by IIM-Ahmedabad graduates Aurvind Lama and Partha Sinha. The platform, along with bus ticketing, offers B2B solutions to nearly 2,000 bus operators through its bus ERP product called BusCRS. It also provides inventory distribution services to online and offline travel agents.
“Travelyaari was established as a platform that enables online bus ticketing processes through reliable services and end-to-end technology solutions for different players in the industry. Our products and services have witnessed great adoption in the country, with a deep-rooted supply chain not only in Tier 1, but also in Tier II and III cities. We will be looking to utilise this fresh induction of capital to further strengthen our B2B & B2C offerings and to achieve greater business growth,” said Aurvind.
As claimed by the company, it currently, dominates 55% of the overall service provider base in India, with its parent company Mantis Technologies Pvt Ltd doing business worth $450 Mn per annum. The company also provides technology solutions for State Transport Corporations like PUNBUS/ Punjab Roadways and PRTC. It is in talks with other State Transport Corporations for adoption of its technology solution.
It also claims to have a monopoly in North and West India, where it holds a 90% share of the inventory. It is further is looking to expand its present geographical footprint and to build an ecosystem around road travel by including pickup and drop services, food, and lodging to its platform.
Elaborating the reason behind the investment, Sankalp Bajpai, Spokesperson, GVFL, said, “In 2011, travel ecommerce had the biggest share in Indian ecommerce market due to an increase in air and train tickets sold online. We believe that bus tickets are no different and customers would like to buy them on-the-go as well. Another thing that really excited us as investors is its business model, which is collaborative and helps all stakeholders, be it bus operators, OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) & agents, or customers. We believe that such a model has the potential to scale quickly, which is why we have chosen to invest in the company.”
India’s online travel market is currently pegged at $23 Bn (around INR 1.58 lakh crore), accounting for nearly 70% of the Indian ecommerce market.
Other players in this space include redBus, Yatra, abhibus, YatraGenie among others.