Railofy, India’s first-ever WL & RAC protection, today announced that it has raised INR 7 Crore in a seed round from Chiratae Ventures to solve the Waitlist problem in India that affects 300M+ railway passenger trips annually. With WL & RAC protection, railway passengers get flight close to train prices to their destination if their train ticket is not confirmed after chart preparation. For shorter distances, Railofy provides buses at nominal prices if the train ticket is not confirmed after chart preparation. This ensures that passengers reach their destination conveniently, in time, and at the lowest possible price, ultimately introducing predictability into the overall travel experience.
Railofy started trials in January 2020 on select trains originating from Mumbai. In just 1.5 months of operations (before pandemic induced lockdown), Railofy witnessed more than 60K+ visits, selling hundreds of WL & RAC protections on these routes. The funding from Chiratae validates the strength of the business model. Railofy will use this funding to scale presence across India post-lock-down. The protection is currently available for all special trains currently running.
The Waitlist problem in Railways has been a long outstanding national issue. The Government has been at the forefront of addressing this problem through initiatives like the Dedicated Freight Corridor & privatization of trains that will enable further capacity creation. Railofy is contributing to this mission by solving the same problem using technology (asset-light model) by connecting excess demand of the railways to other transportation modes like flights & buses at affordable prices.
Founded in 2019 by Rohan Dedhia, Vaibhav Saraf, and Hrishabh Sanghvi who are alumni of ISB, IIT & IIM, respectively, said, “This platform is dedicated to every railway passenger who could not finish their journey because of an unconfirmed ticket. Thus leaving them with either expensive alternatives, dealing with unreliable agents, or altogether canceling their plans. We aim to replace these de-railed experiences with stories of convenience and comfort, affordable and timely travel. Chiratae’s funding validates our belief that the problem of Waitlist in India can be solved indigenously using a technology-led business model.”
Mr. TC Meenakshisundaram, Founder & Managing Director of Chiratae Ventures India Advisors, said, “Indian Railways is the backbone of our country. As India becomes more aspirational, passengers will demand a more reliable experience while traveling by the railways. Railofy is working towards this by solving one of the biggest problems affecting railways – Waitlist due to Congestion.”
Railofy’s USP is that it provides alternate travel at price points close to the railway ticket price which is affordable for the vast majority of Indians without compromising on convenience or timing. Approximately 1 of 2 passengers get waitlisted at the time of booking an IRCTC ticket. Passengers can purchase the protection from Railofy’s portal against their ticket for an average price of ~200 Rs (starting at Rs 50). If the ticket is not confirmed post chart preparation, Railofy provides a flight close to the price of a train ticket or bus for nominal prices to the destination. The price for flight/bus options is fixed at the time of purchasing WL & RAC protection itself, thus ensuring that passengers are shielded from last-minute rising fares.