The Bengaluru self-driving car rental platform plans to raise an additional $70 million in the current round. Zoomcar lets users use their mobile app and website to book vehicles and pay online
In its ongoing Series D round led by Sony Innovation Fund, Zoomcar’s self-drive car rental platform raised $30 million and other existing investors, it said on Monday. The mobility startup, based in Bengaluru, plans to raise another $70 million in the ongoing round.
In June 2019, Japanese electronics giant Sony formed the Sony Innovation Fund in collaboration with Daiwa Capital Holdings to invest in growth-stage technology enterprises.
Zoomcar plans to deploy the capital for growth, improve its infrastructure for technology and data science, in addition to upgrading its IoT capability that is currently being used for its subscription service. The startup has been on the market since April 2019 to raise $500 million in the Series D round, but, according to a company statement, cut the round to $200 million. Zoomcar was valued at around $170 million in February 2018, when it closed its Series C round.
Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M), Ford Smart Mobility, Sequoia Capital and debt investors like InnoVen Capital and Trifecta Capital back up the mobility startup. To date, Zoomcar has leveraged around $130 million from strategic investors, including the current round.
American duo Greg Moran and David Back had founded the seven-year-old startup. Nevertheless, Back left the firm early in 2015 for personal reasons.
Zoomcar lets users use their mobile apps and website to book vehicles and pay online. It has over 10,000 four-wheelers on its fleet, including cars from Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Renault.
It launched an associate program in April 2016, which allows users to lease their own cars under a revenue-sharing model on the platform. It also has a rental program, which allows users to sub-lease four-wheelers for periods of 3, 6, 9, and 12 months. The platform has issued roughly 15,000 subscriptions to date.
Zoomcar said in his statement that it planned to add about 100,000 vehicles to its fleet over the next 18-24 months, as urban mobility has seen a sharp rise in metro cities among commuters.
Several mobility startups, such as Bounce, Vogo, Yulu, and Drivezy, have been experimenting with easing last-mile commuting problems through two-wheeler rental services in the past year alone.
Mobility space investors and creators have been betting on a two-wheelers pay-per-use model that allows users to pick and drop vehicles inside city limits. Users use a mobile app to find the closest cars and pay for the distance travelled.
In 2018 and 2019, a large portion of the funding in shared mobility platforms focused on two-wheeler rental startups based in Bengaluru — Bounce, Vogo, and Yulu.
Out of that, Bounce, backed by Accel and B Capital, leads the pack, mopping up $250 million over the last two years.