Chalo nabs $45 million in Series D as it looks to expand its public transport offering

Transport-tech startup Chalo has bagged a total of $45 million in a new equity round. The Series D funding round was led by Avataar Ventures – a new investor – and included the participation of existing investor Lightrock, Waterbridge, former Google executive Amit Singhal, and others. Furthermore, Chalo bagged an additional $12 million in debt from Trifecta Capital and Stride Ventures.

The fresh round of funding puts the total amount of capital raised by the firm to date to $119 million. In its Series C funding round – that was back in October 2021 – the startup raised $40 million. The round, at that time, was led by Lightrock India and Filter Capital.

From the looks of it, the proceeds from the new funding round will be deployed towards helping it expand its presence and offerings into foreign markets. It already has a presence in Southeast Asia. To add to this, the startup aims to increase the number of EVs on the road (buses – which run under the brand name Shuttl – and e-bikes – which run under the brand name Vogo – alike).

“Our tech stack is globally relevant, and can help improve the public transport experience in cities around the world,” said Mohit Dubey, cofounder and CEO of Chalo. “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,” he added.

In bustling cities around the world, navigating public transportation can often be a challenging and time-consuming task. However, thanks to the innovative efforts of startups like Chalo, urban commuting is undergoing a transformation. The startup is known to leverage technology to revolutionize the way people experience public transportation. For example, it helps bus providers with ticketing and tracking services by teaming up with private intra-city bus operators.

Today, Chalo’s platform provides a comprehensive suite of technology-enabled solutions designed to enhance urban transportation systems. It offers real-time bus tracking, which allows commuters to precisely monitor the location and estimated arrival time of buses. And through its platform, users can purchase bus tickets digitally, eliminating the need for physical tickets and long queues. This not only saves time but also promotes contactless transactions, which are especially relevant in the current global health landscape. Currently, the startup has a presence in over 50 cities and across states such as Delhi NCR, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam. Additionally, it claims to track more than 15,000 buses across the country.

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