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2015-03-10

Online travel startup Routofy scoops up funding from Snapdeal co-founders

The startup was founded by three IIT-Delhi alumni Ronak Gupta, Abhishek Aggarwal and Preeti Rawat.

Launched in June 2014, the online travel startup Routofy has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from from Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal and Nikunj Jain, founder of Frankly.me. The funding will go towards expansion of the team and technology enhancement.

Routofy helps users find the most suitable option to reach a destination by showing various transport options - ranging from trains, flights, buses, travelling with car or taking a cab all at one place and also optimising them, according to the need of the user, on price, duration and comfort using its proprietary routing and machine learning algorithms. The startup is soon planning to come up with their Android-based mobile app.

The startup was founded by three IIT-Delhi alumni Ronak Gupta, Abhishek Aggarwal and Preeti Rawat. Sharing their thoughts on the recent funding round, the co-founders said, "We're thrilled to welcome Kunal, Rohit and Nikunj to Routofy given their long-term experience in the technology sector as entrepreneurs. We're now a strong team of 7 people. The vision is to help users 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."

The idea was conceived way back in 2012 by Ronak Gupta during his trip to France for a semester 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. In Gupta's own words, "I used to open multiple tabs for flight, train, bus schedules and prices. A lot of the times, a good direct option wasn't available. 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."

Routofy is addressing the complex challenges of the multi-billion dollar Indian travel market by using technology to build a new platform that combines massive amounts of flight, train and bus data, resulting in a solution that provides end to end connectivity all the way down to smallest towns and villages, and at the same time gives you an opportunity to compare different modes in one search, thus eliminating the need to visit multiple websites to plan their entire journey.

"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 like previous train delays, airport/train station transit transfer times, check-in and waiting times etc. Also by crowdsourcing, who better than the person who've been on that route can tell about the best way to reach and other intricacies, so by letting people rate and review itineraries and building a community around it," shared Gupta.

"The next step will be to enable users to book these point to point itineraries in one step on our platform, so that the transaction happens only once, which is actually much more useful in case of mobile. The core proposition here will be handling the coordination between different modes to provide a seamless travel experience to the user during the journey," he added further.

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