If you are fed up of facing tough situations while travelling to your hometown during weekends, holidays or festivals, then you will surely fall in love with this carpooling startup – CoYatri.com, an inter-city carpooling portal, which connects car-owners with travelers, who are facing difficulty in booking seats during peak times.
“We connect the lone travelers who need seats and car owners with empty seats looking to reduce their fuel & toll expenses.” Sums up the founder, Pradeep Reddy. The idea of CoYatri emerged when he and his friend faced similar situation while travelling to their hometown.
Travel is a great way of bringing strangers together and CoYatri is doing it in a style. Praveen, who is one of the customers of CoYatri, says, “I ended up making two friends. Coyatri is a fantastic idea and I highly recommend it!”
“Aim of CoYatri is to improvise long distance road travel in India by making it more social, affordable and sustainable.” Pradeep is a technology expert with 8+ years of experience in development and project management. He is an IT engineer from JNTU Hyderabad.
CoYatri even launched their mobile app for Android devices, which can be registered using Gmail or Facebook accounts. It will automatically link your social account with CoYatri account for complete transparency.
The car owner itself fixes the travel fare depending on the distance and some other factors. To register as a car owner, one needs to submit their car number, photos and driving license. Every car owner is comprehensively verified by using email, phone, vehicle details and Govt. approved identity card for security reasons. As for the users, they have ultimate freedom of choosing their travel partner.
CoYatri was launched in October 2014 and as of now, it has 4500+ base of loyal customers. It has become extremely popular among IT employees and students, who come to the city for either work or study.
Since weekends and festival seasons are usually a peak time for public transport, travel operators charges exorbitant fares and even the probability of getting a confirmed seat is minimal. At the same time, more than 80% of people are travelling with single occupancy to their native lands.
Pradeep adds, “When these two situations are connected to one and another, it creates a win-win situation for both parties concerned. This scenario helped us to think about building a platform where car owner & co-traveler can connect and benefit from a situation, which can be productive and value for money for both.”
He further adds, “CoYatri mission is to abolish the monopoly behavior of public and private transport players and to move Indians towards finding the alternate way of traveling through CoYatri by sharing car rides and expenses.”
Since car-pooling in India is not as popular as it is in US and other countries, Pradeep has a tough time in starting CoYatri. When travel startups such as Uber, Taxi for Sure, and Ola providing taxis at dirt-cheap prices, carpooling industry was actually a tough nut to crack.
However, his willpower and enthusiasm has made CoYatri a grand success today. They are receiving 5000 monthly visitors to their website and experiencing 50+ registrations every month. The numbers actually goes up quickly during festive and holiday seasons.
He says, “In my view, there is no good idea and bad idea. Validation of idea depends upon the determination and commitment towards it. So be committed and never give up.”
For their incredible idea, they were awarded HYSEA hottest startups of 2015. They raised seed-funding of $100000 from by US angel investor Mr. Sudheer Gaddam. With BlaBlaCar and Tripda competing in the same carpooling space, CoYatri want to expand their wings all around the Indian subcontinent and build user base of 1 million by using the fund.
Nevertheless, CoYatri is actually a sign of relief for both car owners and co travelers, as they are helping them save both time and money. Go CoYatri Go!