CatchThatBus Lands $1.5M For Cellular Bus Ticketing In Southeast Asia
CatchThatBus, the startup behind a cellular app that covers bus reserving and knowledge in Malaysia and Singapore, has closed a $1.5 million bridge spherical forward of a deliberate Collection A increase and enlargement throughout Southeast Asia.
The brand new capital was offered by 500 Startups and Jungle Ventures (from its new, as-but-unannounced fund), and is nearly definitely timed to assist CatchThatBus push on earlier than bigger rivals — reminiscent of Redbus in India, acquired for $one hundred thirty five million in 2013 — transfer into Southeast Asia, a market famous for its progress potential.
However wait, who even cares about buses today?
Properly, reasonably priced air journey could also be revolutionizing many individuals’s journeys, however buses present a reasonable choice for hundreds of thousands in Southeast Asia. They’re notably necessary for these from rural areas who commute into the area’s mega cities for work, typically low-paid work, and need to spend as little as potential when touring between house and the large metropolis.
CatchThatBus works with bus operators to incorporate their routes (and tickets) inside its cellular apps — iOS, Android, Home windows Telephone and net. Not solely is it handy, nevertheless it brings just a little extra group to the chaos that’s personal bus corporations in Southeast Asia.
CEO Viren Doshi advised TechCrunch that the service, which covers journeys to greater than 500 locations in Singapore and Malaysia, is seeing 20-30 % progress every month, although he declined to offer uncooked enterprise knowledge.
Past permitting passengers to ebook their bus tickets by way of a cellular app — sparing them a typically irritating and inefficient journey to a bus terminal ticketing level — CatchThatBus additionally supplies journey info and customer support, the latter of which is usually missing.
Doshi believes that, just like the taxi on-demand revolution that Uber and GrabTaxi are spurring in Southeast Asia, there’s a lot to do with buses.
“We’re trying to change the buyer notion round buses. Taxis have a nasty identify and buses are comparable — whether or not it’s buying, or buyer help, we go the additional mile to ensure passengers get to get to their vacation spot,” he stated.
Nonetheless engaged on its enterprise in two markets, the purpose is to go regional.
“We need to scale throughout geographies and construct a viable enterprise that folks belief — clients are equally as necessary as operators,” Doshi stated.
CatchThatBus’s deliberate Collection A spherical will probably be used to increase to quite a few cities in Southeast Asia, Doshi stated. For now the corporate isn’t naming names for its enlargement — Doshi stated it’s nonetheless within the strategy of evaluating markets — however Thailand and Indonesia are more likely to be the primary stops on that journey. (Oh, you thought I wouldn’t throw in a bus pun, huh? Improper!)