Shuttl, the Amazon backed app-based shuttle service has been acquired in an all-cash deal by Chalo, which helps track buses across cities.
With the acquisition, Chalo will be able to expand its presence across the country, including metropolitan cities, expand its technology and product offerings, and aid its efforts for global expansion. While the financial details of the deal were not disclosed, it was revealed that Amit Singh, Shuttl co-founder, and CEO, will remain with his startup. Additionally, its team will continue to operate in its existing role.
Shuttl and Chalo paint two contrasting images. While Chalo raised $40 million in its Series C funding round led by Lightrock India and Filter Capital earlier this month, Shuttl has been in a precarious position after it was devastated by the pandemic and had no choice but to reduce its workforce (something that has become very common over the past one-and-a-half year).
The pre-pandemic period saw the startup present in Delhi NCR, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune, and Mumbai, and international cities like Bangkok, and fulfilling about 100,000 rides daily through 2,000 buses.
Founded in 2015, Shuttl has raised over $97 million in a series of financing equity and debt rounds and is backed by Amazon, Times Internet, Sequoia Capital India, venture capital firm SIG Investments, Trifecta Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Toyota, and others. The acquisition of Shuttl will enable Chalo to enter the premium bus service segment and enter foreign markets.
As for Chalo, the seven-year-old startup, founded by Mohit Dubey, Priya Singh Dubey, Dhruv Chopra, Vinayak Bhavnani, has 15,000 buses live on its platform. As of July 2021, its app had over 70 lakh downloads. The start-up not only helps track buses but also offers mobile tickets and bus passes which can be bought on the Chalo App and through the Chalo Card.
Going forward, Chalo will continue to use the brand “Shuttl.”