Cityflo, an app-based bus service that provides a comfortable and stress-free commute experience for corporate professionals in Mumbai has raised INR 57 crore in Series A funding led by Lightbox Ventures. India Quotient who had infused a seed amount of INR 3 crore into Cityflo in 2019 along with other angel investors has also participated in the round.
Cityflo aims to utilize the amount raised to enhance its offerings beyond industry standards, expand services on the current and new routes, and strengthen its position as a daily commute brand for the city’s working professionals. The brand is also working towards skilling drivers with regard to customer service etiquette, soft skills, and grooming, among other aspects. They will also be launching a facility soon where bus drivers can park their buses at the end of the day, rest, and recuperate.
Speaking about this, Jerin Venad, Co-founder, Cityflo, said, “Cityflo was founded with the vision of solving the problem of long and stressful office commutes for professionals in our cities. Our goal was to offer a commute option that is convenient, comfortable, and seamless. This means passengers can catch up on their work, sleep, or a Netflix series that was left in the middle. The pandemic has further underscored how essential it is to bring this kind of an offering to people. We plan to invest the proceeds from our Series A funding to upgrade our operations, increase our presence across heavy traffic routes in Mumbai, and grow Cityflo into a go-to brand for office commute.”
Adding further, Sankalp Kelshikar, Co-founder, Cityflo, said, “Cityflo’s customers are our number one priority. Traveling with Cityflo is a comfortable and convenient experience for our customers, a majority of whom are busy working professionals in Mumbai’s prime business hubs. Tailored to our customers’ desires, our buses are air-conditioned BharatBenz buses with aesthetic interiors, ergonomic, reclining seats, equipped with air-suspension for a smoother ride. We are changing the perception that buses are slower than cars by limiting the number of boarding points on our routes. Our commitment to safety and reliability is stronger than ever, given people’s apprehensions about using commute options.”
Ensuring commuter safety and comfort has made Cityflo a superior and popular option in the post-lockdown era. Cityflo has been certified as a “Safe Way to Travel” by an FSSAI and NABL accredited private lab.
Siddharth Talwar, Partner, Lightbox Ventures, said, “The public transport system in India is broken and overstressed. For those who drive their cars to work, the problem is compounded by traffic and long travel time. The pandemic has made the situation more delicate with heightened apprehensions around safety, hygiene, and sanitization. This segment, therefore, has the potential to scale up and become the next big thing. Cityflo holds a lot of promise as a brand for the working professionals who fight traffic for hours on end every day and incur costs in terms of time.”
Adding further, Anand Lunia, Partner, India Quotient, said, “We invested in Cityflo not because theirs was a unique business proposition but due to the fact that its services set out to solve something that numerous office commuters faced daily. With Cityflo, office goers are able to save on the most important resource: time. The company, with its offerings, is also allaying fears around traveling by bus instead of their cars thanks to its focus on safety. There is already an increase in demand from organizations who are booking exclusive buses for their employees to travel to work and back. We wish them the best for the expansion.”
Cityflo has adopted an asset-light model, partnering with bus operators, and is more than doubling in scale every year. It currently works with a total of 160 buses and provides dedicated employee transport to essential service companies in the post-pandemic environment. The company’s mission is to give white-collar professionals across Indian cities the luxury of time by improving the quality of their commute experience.