HYDERABAD: Booking bus tickets be it for a visit to home town or for a vacation has just become easier with city-based Abhibus Services (India) Pvt Ltd enabling bookings from your mobile.
Abhibus, the country’s second largest online bus ticketing solutions provider, sells over 10,000 seats online everyday and with the mobile application in place, it now intends to sell over 50 per cent of the total seats through mobile. “It is the most convenient platform as users can make a booking on the go,” Sudhakar Reddy Chirra, founder and CEO, Abhibus, told Express. Currently, the bus ticketing industry in India is pegged at approximately ` 15,000 crore, of which, roughly about 10 pc i.e, ` 1,500 crore is available for online players. Bangalore-based RedBus, acquired by e-commerce firm Ibibo Group last year, is currently the largest online bus ticketing firm, selling over 30,000 seats everyday.
AbhiBus manages a seat inventory of more than 10,000 buses with over 2,50,000 seats per day. It has sold 60 million tickets till date and is on track to achieve an inventory of 6.5 lakh seats in a few years. “There are over 800 bus operators, including both private and State transport corporations. We have tied up with 150 large bus operators and have plans to add 100 more by end of 2015,” said Reddy, who shunned a corporate role to float Abhibus in 2007.
Started with an initial investment of ` 15 lakh from Reddy’s savings, Abhibus has evolved into a Rs 165-crore company and is targeting to breakeven this fiscal. “We were cash-negative last fiscal due to high marketing spend. But this fiscal, we should make profits,” he said. Abhibus has spent nearly Rs 11 crore to market its services and has earmarked another ` 15 crore this fiscal to reach out to customers.
In 2012 the company had raised $5 million from an investor and is now in dialogue with two more investors to raise another $10 million for expansion. “The proposed investment will be towards technology enhancement, software improvements and marketing,” said Reddy.
Abhibus makes money everytime a customer books a ticket or when a bus operator uses the company’s platform by paying a nominal fee.
“We get a commission of 12-15 per cent on every ticket sale,” said Reddy, adding that the company was growing 15-20 per cent every year and aiming a turnover of ` 250 crore during the current financial year.