Signalling more consolidation may come, smart-bus startup Zeelo acquires Kura, a smaller player

A small UK startup which combined a school bus service with a software platform to safeguard pupils has been acquired by ‘Smart buses’ startup Zeelo, which last year raised a $14 million war chest for expansion.

Founded in the UK in 2010, Kura, which had previously raised £3.8 million in a Private Equity round from Souter Investments, provided a safeguarding tech platform for schools and colleges, bus transportation, and a similar service for employee shuttles and charter transport services in the UK.

It’s acquisition for an undisclosed amount by Zeelo means the combined entity will have 220 customers, 450 operator partners and 40,000 daily riders using the platform, according to the company.

Last year Zeelo secured a $14 Series A extension, taking total funds raised standing $33.6 million since it was launched in 2016. Zeelo claims its ‘smart bus’ routing algorithm optimizes bus programs, saving clients up to 43% on their billing and increasing ridership by 50%.

The company said it planned to expand its sales and operations in the U.S. and enhance its technology platform. This was after it narrowly avoided a failed acquisition by SPAC-backed Swvl and a wave of market volatility in tech sctocks.

Although Sam Ryan, co-founder & CEO of Zeelo, declined to comment on the price of the acquisition, in a statement he hinted that there were there was “a pipeline of M&A opportunities across” the UK and US markets.

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