Birds Eye Systems Private Limited, which offers real-time traffic and travel information for Indian cities through mobile and internet channels under the Traffline brand, has received funding from Matrix Partners India. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company was co-founded by Brijraj Vaghani, who working in the mobile sector with Qualcomm and Nextwave Wireless in the US, and Ravi Khemani, who has earlier working with careerbuilder.com in the US and Sears International in India.
Birds Eye currently provides traffic information for four Indian cities and Traffline currently has several hundred thousand users. It uses data sourced from GPS in cabs and buses that are already on city roads. The company claims that commuters can reduce road travel time by almost 20% by using Traffline.
The company had raised Rs 2 Crore ($400,000) from Indian Angel Network (IAN) in April last year and had said that they funds would be used to expand the company’s footprint across the country, enhance the scope of services and further develop the product. It also offers a taxi booking service, TaxiGo, which the company claimed has more than 15,000 customers. It had launched paid daily traffic alerts via SMS for consumers in Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi earlier this year. Traffline also has Android, iOS and BlackBerry apps.
It’s worth noting that BirdsEye had a tie-up with location based services and maps company MapmyIndia for offering online traffic updates since 2010. However, the service was not quite real time and hadn’t been integrated to MapmyIndia’s web and mobile apps. MapMyIndia had also added real time traffic information to its maps earlier this year. MapmyIndia has said that the tie-up still exists, but the company also added that the traffic data is provided by MapmyIndia itself.
Other Players: In December 2012, Google Maps had expanded its live traffic coverage to six new Indian cities and now offers live traffic information for 12 Indian cities on its web interface and its iOS and Android mobile apps. It had also acquired the Israeli social traffic & navigation app Waze in June 2013 and had integrated real time incident reports from Waze users to Google Maps for Android and iOS last month.
Nokia owned maps and location service company NAVTEQ, had launched its real-time traffic information service, NAVTEQ Traffic Pro in the Indian cities of Delhi and Mumbai, earlier this year, and Nokia had later extended it to its smartphones. Airtel had also launched its own location app for smartphones, which offered voice based turn by turn navigation and real time traffic information, but the app used NAVTEQ maps to offer location and traffic information.
Birds Eye Systems’ Traffline also offers real time traffic updates to commuters by using available GPS data sourced from cabs and buses that are already on city roads. Its currently available in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai. In July 2013, the company had introduced paid daily traffic alerts on SMS and email. The email service was priced at Rs 549 per year while the SMS service was priced at Rs 849 per year.