Shuttl began with the goal of addressing gaps in inter-city mobility. We felt that the demand was consolidated in this segment by online travel agencies, but also that the service was poor. We quickly realized that the inter-city segment had a low frequency, making it difficult to drive user adoption and build a strong consumer brand. This was the click moment for Shuttl. We shifted our focus to the within-city, twice-a-day commute. This was an unserved market. Also, there were no reliable, affordable, safe and dignified solutions in this space. One could either hire an entire cab (expensive) or buy tickets in public transport without any assurance of a seat (uncomfortable).
We saw that with the commute times increasing to an hour or more, an assured seat was necessary for a within-city commute product. Shuttl offers the comfort of a car at a cost which is slightly more than that of a bus. Today, we have a tech-enabled and seat-based bus mobility solution which ensures a seat for within-city commuters in Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Pune and Mumbai, and crossed 20 million cumulative rides in January.
The 1,200 buses on the platform make Shuttl the largest player in the market and the service is a reliable option for those who want to shift away from cars. Shuttl surveys and independent studies by WRI (World Resources Institute) have shown that nearly 58% of Shuttlrs were former car users. Shuttl has an enterprise solution with a host of tech-enabled safety features. This allows businesses a chance to provide their employees—particularly women—a safe, dignified and reliable way to commute to work. Backed by Sequoia Capital India, Lightspeed Venture Partners India, Denstu Ventures, Times Internet and Advantage Edge, Shuttl’s long-term vision is to become the preferred mode of daily office commute over cars for urban India.
Amit Singh is co-founder of Shuttl, an intracity mobility startup.