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Bus service start-up Shuttl scales to 10% of DTC fleet in two years

LiveMint logoLiveMint 13-06-2017 Yuvraj Malik

New Delhi: As Delhi government moves to augment the fleet of public buses, Shuttl, an intra-city mobility start-up, has scaled to 10% of its size in two years. The Gurugram-based firm--which aggregates buses targeted at daily office goers--now employs 450 buses on about 75 routes in the National Capital Region centred on Delhi.

In an interview, co-founder Amit Singh said Shuttl plans to scale its fleet to at least 700 by the end of the ongoing financial year and expects to hit a monthly sales run-rate of Rs10 crore, nearly double what it currently is.

“We are aiming to double both in terms of sales and ridership by financial year-end,” Singh said.

Shuttl was founded by Singh and Deepanshu Malviya, former colleagues at fashion e-tailer Jabong, in January 2015. It started off an inter-city bus service, but three months later pivoted into intra-city transport.

Shuttl, operated by Super Highway Labs Pvt. Ltd, allows commuters to book a seat in an air-conditioned bus through its app. The tickets are priced between Rs50 and Rs80 and sold in bundles on 10, 20 or 30 rides valid for a particular period (typically one month).

Besides, Shuttl service packs a host of technology-enabled features like real-time ETA (estimated time before arrival) tracking, cash-less payments, smartphone-enabled ticket confirmation and the ability to share ride details and bus location with relatives.

In December 2015, Lightspeed Venture Partners, along with Times Internet and early investor Sequoia Capital, invested $20 million in series A funding in Shuttl. It had earlier raised $3 million from Sequoia and independent angel investors.

Despite having launched in NCR, widely regarded as one of the well-networked areas in terms of mobility infrastructure, Shuttl sells about 20,000 seat reservations and ferries about 14,000 commuters on average each day.

In comparison, the Delhi Transport Corp. runs 4,020 buses that ply on 468 routes, transporting about 300,000 passengers daily, according to data shared by DTC.

How Shuttl fares differently from traditional transports is that its network (including routes, buses and frequency) is entirely based on connecting popular office clusters to residential areas in the city.

Singh said the core to Shuttl’s service is its technology platform which determines, through data, the best routes and number of buses to deploy from point A to B to generate maximum efficiency. The company is currently generating 70-75% efficiency in terms of total seats sold.

“In terms of variables, the time, the route, the destination and different pick-up points, that’s the complexity of building the network,” Singh said.

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