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Ajay Piramal invests in Chennai-based cab shuttle UToo

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Billionaire Ajay Piramal has picked up a minority stake in Chennai-based online shuttle aggregator UToo, reports the Economic Times. UToo was started by former Aircel CEO C Sivasankaran, according to a Hindu Businessline report and the company says that it has already completed more than 5,000 rides with 100 daily commuters and 20 routes.

Businessline also reported that UToo will be rolled out in nine cities with at least 1,00,000 cars in the first phase (within four months), and 1,80,000 cars will cover 104 cities and towns in 18 months. ET added that the company is valued at Rs 1,000 crore and has raised Rs 74 crore from Sivasankaran’s friends and family. Sivasankaran said the investment was routed through Piramal Group company Alpex Corporate Services but did not disclose the quantum of the investment.

UToo allows users to book a seat on a shuttle which will take them to their office and allows them to choose a timing. The company also says that users can create and share their own route. They can also invite friends from Facebook and Twitter who can use the route. There are daily, weekly and monthly options for booking a seat on UToo.

Competition

– In September 2015, Ola introduced its shuttle service. Ola Shuttle is also available for corporate customers.  Ola  acquired Geotagg, a company which provided transport solutions across web, mobile and kiosks, especially for public transportation, for an undisclosed amount. Ola will reportedly use the Geotagg technology to strengthen its intra city bus shuttle service, which will pilot in Delhi NCR.

– Shuttl has raised $20 million in its series A round of funding from Lightspeed Ventures, Sequoia India and Times Internet Limited. Founded in April 2015 by Amit Singh and Deepanshu Malviya, Shuttl currently operates only in the Delhi NCR region with a fleet of 500 buses on its platform.

– There’s also Bangalore-based ZipGo which runs shuttles. The company launched a bus service for women in Delhi NCR, on a membership basis. Women also make up a significant chunk of the travelers in Delhi, prompting the company to launch this service.

– Mumbai-based rBus raised an undisclosed amount of seed fund from India Quotient, People Group founder Anupam Mittal and others in August this year.

– Cityflo, another Mumbai-based bus aggregator, also raised $750,000 from IDG Ventures.

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