Why Nandan Nilekani Has Boarded RailYatri App

Nandan NilakaniInfosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani’s personal investment in RailYatri has increased the visibility of the Rail Travel App.

60-year old Mr Nilekani, ranked 69th on the Forbes India Billionaire’s List with a net worth of $1.61 billion, made an undisclosed investment in RailYatri last month.

“What excites me about RailYatri is the fact that this is a new-age product made by Indians for Indians.

The RailYatri app, which intelligently harnesses the power of smartphones, data and mobile payments, has a huge opportunity of impacting the lives of millions of travellers,” Mr Nilekani said.

RailYatri is backed by venture capital funds such as Helion Ventures, Blume Ventures and Omidyar Network.

RailYatri’s co-founder and CEO Manish Rathi told that information for the app is crowd-sourced or the data is provided by users of the app.

“We use mobiles of the users to track the location of trains. Users tell us whether the ticket got confirmed or not and based on that we help future travellers,” he said. “The data which helps in decision-making is powered by other train travellers.”

Mr Rathi cited another example of how crowd-sourcing helps power the app. “You want to know the location of the train you are sitting on? In some sense, you are sharing your location to find it out. That location value is used to make predictions associated with other travellers.”

“When you get a value in return, you contribute to the information world.”

RailYatri uses analytics technology to make intelligent predictions that help travellers make decisions for their upcoming journeys. The app uses a traveller’s mobile GPS to predict train delay, coach position, on-time history of a train and whether the wait-listed tickets are likely to get confirmed.

It also enables travellers to book essential services such as premium on-board meals, bus tickets and budget rooms.

RailYatri has so far raised about $3 million.

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