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Snapdeal founders invest in travel planning portal

Ola, cab aggregator valued at over $1 bn, which recently acquired TaxiForSure in a $200-mn deal, is among Bahl and Bansal's investment destinations

Digbijay Mishra  |  New Delhi 

and Rohit Bansal, founders of Snapdeal, the online marketplace, have reportedly taken part in the first round of funding in Delhi-based Routofy, a travel planning portal.

Ronak Gupta, founder of Routofy, confirmed this but did not disclose the funding details. Bahl and Bansal have together infused about $5 million (Rs 27.7 crore approx) into the company.

The two have been putting their personal wealth in different capacity into a number of For instance, TinyOwl, Tripoto, Bewakoof, Gigstart have the founders as angel investors. Flipkart’s Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal have also invested in Ather, Roposo.com, Touchtalent.com and Spoonjoy, among others. Ola, cab aggregator valued at over $1 billion, which recently acquired TaxiForSure in a $200-million deal, is among Bahl and Bansal’s investment destinations.

Routofy combines flights, trains, buses and cabs to provide end to end connectivity across small towns and villages. The platform gives an opportunity to compare different modes in one search.

Gupta said the first round of funding would be used to scale up the business and enhance the technology, as the latter is a key part of the business model. Routofy has seven people in its core team, including Gupta. Preeti Rawat a former Google employee and Abhisekh Aggarwal, former Microsoft employee are part of the core team.

“The vision is to help user find the best way to travel from any point in India to any other point and give him an opportunity to book the whole itinerary all at one go. Speaking of mobile, our website is already mobile optimised, and also an android app is on its way” said Gupta, an IIT Delhi pass out.

“We're right now focusing a lot on making our multi-modal indirect itineraries actually implementable on ground. For this we've incorporated a lot of data at the backend: previous train delays, airport/train station transit transfer times, check-in and waiting times etc,” pointed out Gupta.

The company is also crowd-sourcing by letting people rate and review itineraries and building a community around it. “The next step will be to make these point to point itineraries bookable (right now we redirect to other sites for booking) in one step, so the transaction happens only once which is actually much more useful in case of mobile,” added Gupta.

Routofy was launched last year when Gupta spent a semester in France under IIT Delhi’s semester exchange programme. All enthused to take the backpack route and travel across Europe, he faced his first roadblock trying to figure out a suitable way to reach the destination.

“It was a brain wracking experience as the options were far too many and confusing. I used to open multiple tabs for flight, train, bus schedules and prices. Sitting with Google maps, I tried to find alternate and indirect connections to my destination. Once back in India, I realised that the problem assumes complex proportions here, as the system is much more complicated,” Gupta said.

First Published: Tue, March 10 2015. 00:45 IST
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