Toyota Group and Japan’s SMBC Trust Bank invest in Indian bus-hailing startup Shuttl

Shuttl’s current valuation has peaked to USD 200 million.

Source: Shuttl

Gurugram-based intracity bus aggregator Shuttl has raised USD 18 million from Toyota Tsusho Corp., a unit of the Toyota Group, and Japan’s SMBC Trust Bank as part of its ongoing Series C round, according to its regulatory filings.

While Toyota Tsusho put in USD 6 million, SMBC Trust Bank infused USD 12 million in this app-based bus booking platform that has reportedly reached a valuation of USD 200 million.

With its current investment, Toyota Tsusho now owns 6% stake in the company, while Times Internet, an Indian media company holds a 6.96% stake in Shuttl. Its other investors include Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Ventures, Amazon India, and Dentsu Ventures. Amazon India has picked up 4.45% stake in the company after the latest funding round.

Business intelligence platform Paper.vc has estimated the total size of the ongoing Series C round at USD 42 million.

In April 2019, Super Highway Labs, the owner of the bus aggregator platform, had raised USD 5.8 million, as part of a Series B funding from a bunch of investors led by US-based Proof.VC, an early-stage venture capital firm. Whereas in March 2019, Shuttl had raised USD 7 million from Sequoia Capital India, SCI Investments, Lightspeed India Partners, and Times Internet.

The 2015 founded Shuttl has raised USD 50 million till now.

Currently, Shuttl runs its own fleet of bus services across six Indian cities, including Delhi and its satellite cities, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, and Chennai. It claims to have a combined daily ridership of 100,000 rides across these metro cities. The company claims it has been able to convert 57% of its customers who earlier used to travel by their four-wheelers into bus commuters.

Shuttl clocked more than USD 14 million revenue in financial year 2019 compared to USD 6.3 million last financial year. In fiscal 2018, Shuttl reported a loss of USD 7.1 million, but did not release the profit and loss figures for this financial year.

In September this year, Shuttl set up its first research and development hub in Bengaluru that is positioned as its prime nodal center for innovation. It said it would hire over 100 employees for the R&D center to enhance its capabilities around geographic information systems, global positioning systems, machine learning, data warehousing, augmented reality, and computer vision.

According to industry surveys, about 150,000 private buses are operational in India carrying nearly 70 million people daily.

India’s mobility space is witnessing increasing interest from international automakers. While Hyundai Motor has infused funds into ride hailing company Ola, Indian automaker Mahindra & Mahindra has claimed a 55% stake in cab service provider Meru. Automobile major Ford Motor has funded car rental platform Zoomcar, and two-wheeler giant Hero MotoCorp has investment in electric vehicle manufacturer Ather Energy, in which Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal is also a stake holder.