Shuttle, a mass-transit startup based in Bangladesh, raised US$750,000 in a seed round, led by Accelerating Asia, a press release says.
Robi Axiata Limited (r-ventures), Impact Collective (The Ventures, South Korea) and Bangladesh Angels Network (BAN) are some of the investors that participated in the round, in addition to angel investors from home and abroad, including industry (logistics) experts such as Uber's head of Mobility Innovation Programs, and co-founder & managing director of foodpanda Bangladesh.
According to the press release, Shuttle is also eligible for receiving Impact Ready Matching Fund of up to US$ 100,000 from the Biniyog Briddhi -- a multi-year programme to support an ecosystem where impact enterprises of Bangladesh can grow and scale their impact. Biniyog Briddhi is set up as a public-private development partnership (PPDP) between the Embassy of Switzerland in Bangladesh, Roots of Impact, and LightCastle Partners.
Previously, Shuttle raised a pre-seed round from Robi Axiata Limited and in total it has raised close to $1million so far.
Shuttle provides air-conditioned minivans, accommodating 10-11 people, who can commute together at a cost of one-fourth of ride-sharing cars. The company started its journey back in 2018 with a women-only service. The service garnered impressive responses from female users all across Dhaka.
Shuttle currently has more than 20,000 women registered in their platform for the "Shuttle for Women'' service and has completed more than 1 million successful rides.
Shuttle has recently extended its services further and incorporated "Shuttle for Business" in 2020.
Shuttle's co-founder and CEO Reyasat Chowdhury, in the press release, said, "When we started, we figured out that different segments of people in the society [women, men, businesses, school and university students etc] have different needs and different priorities and one solution for all will not solve the problems. We realised that 21st century mass-transit solutions need to cater to the unique needs of each of these segments separately. Keeping that in mind, initially we started with a women-only service and later launched "Shuttle for Business."
The startup has a total addressable market of $7.5 billion only in Bangladesh and the team believes that the same solution can be replicated in other developing countries and densely populated cities as well.