Chalo, an Indian startup that digitizes bus commutes, recently raised $40 million in financing. The two announced on Tuesday that they had acquired Shuttl, an Amazon-backed app-based bus aggregator. It was all cash.
Mohit Dubey, founder of Chalo, said that the acquisition of Shuttl (which operates thousands of buses targeted at working professionals) will allow his startup to expand its presence across the country, including in the metros. It will also broaden the technology and product offerings and boost the firm's overseas expansion efforts.
Shuttl & Chalo are the two firms that have the potential to be the biggest mobility companies in the world. He said that although I would have preferred the pandemic not to have occurred, it has allowed two companies with similar focus to join forces, in an interview with TechCrunch.
Dubey did not disclose the financial terms, but stated that Shuttl cofounder and chief executive Amit Sing had agreed to continue his journey. He said that Chalo will continue using Shuttls branding.
Our goal was to alleviate the daily commuters pain. We created a category and inspired others from all over the globe to do the same. It was a bittersweet moment. Singh stated that he believes the legacy and team of Shuttl will flourish in the new setup.
It's a bittersweet moment for investors in Shuttl. Shuttl had struggled to raise new funding and had reduced its workforce to deal with the pandemic. There were murmurs for months about Shuttl closing down shops.
According to Tracxn data intelligence platform, Shuttl had raised more than $97 million through a series of financing equity rounds and debt rounds. The startup has backing from Amazon, Times Internet and Sequoia Capital India. Lightspeed Venture Partners and Toyota are also among its backers.
Chalo stated that Shuttl's entire team, including key executives, will continue to perform their duties.
Dubey stated that he has been in contact with Shuttls Singh over several years but that the two started acquisition talks just two months ago.
India's bus market is worth $20 billion, almost twice as much as cabs. Although bus commutes are easier for the larger population, there are only three buses per 10,000 Indians.