Published on : Monday, May 13, 2019
The investment fund of Indian Angel Network’s (IAN) which was set-up in 2018, has a corpus of ₹350 crore, meant for investing in early-stage startups. The Bengaluru-based startup is also in talks with China and US based investors to raise a big amount for its ongoing Series A funding round, the second person said on condition of anonymity. A company spokesperson confirmed that its bridge round is in advanced stage, but did not comment on the ongoing Series A round.
Confirmtkt, which has been operational for over four years now, predicts confirmations of wait-listed train tickets on any given route, using a score of 0-100 by tracking Passenger Name Records (PNRs) and other data points.
Sripad Vaidya, chief operating officer of Confirmtkt told that around 10-11% of PNRs generated in the Indian Railway system (60,000-70,0000 tickets) is now being tracked daily on their platform, directly from user inputs and through its ticket booking service.
Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) had launched a prediction feature on its online ticket booking platform in May 2018. Apart from this, train comparison portal Railyatri, backed by investors like Omidyar Network, and Nandan Nilekani also added prediction support on its portal. In December 2018, Google had also acquired Bengaluru-based Where Is MyTtrain, a train tracking and route information app under its ‘next billion users’ initiative.
Confirmtikt’s prediction algorithms have been continuously growing and feeding itself with data right from 2014. Data sourced from Confirmtkt’s portal shows that around 40% of the daily 600,000 train bookings made in India, via both online and offline medium, go directly into a wait list. The transport mobility experts who track Indian railways say that black-marketing of tickets, low capacity on non-premium trains and the rising influence of middlemen in train ticketing are contributing factors to wait-listed tickets.
These findings come at a time when big data is seeing increased adoption by India’s government across its public service departments. Over 20 million people use the Indian Railways currently, and India’s Railway minister Piyush Goyal himself said in early 2018, that Indian railways has been sitting on a massive pile of data, which yet to be put in good use. Chitresh Srivastava, a rail enthusiast and expert pointed out that black marketing of tickets happens across both premium and non-premium trains.
Sanjay Mehta, angel investor in Confimrtkt said that once the railway system in India in gets privatized, customer experience would take the center-stage.