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Business News/ Companies / Start-ups/  Scooter rental start-up Vogo raises Series A funds from Ola, Hero MotoCorp

Scooter rental start-up Vogo raises Series A funds from Ola, Hero MotoCorp

Vogo plans to add over 1,000 pick-up points in Bengaluru and Hyderabad

(centre )Anand Ayyadurai, founder and CEO, Vogo.Premium
(centre )Anand Ayyadurai, founder and CEO, Vogo.

New Delhi: Vogo, a scooter sharing start-up, has raised $6-7 million in a Series A funding round led by ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd and Hero MotoCorp chairman Pawan Munjal, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Matrix Partners India, Stellaris Venture and angel investors also participated in the funding round, Vogo said in a statement, without disclosing the size of the funding.

Founded in 2016, Vogo lets customers rent scooters for short one-way trips at various locations in Bengaluru and Hyderabad. An average trip is about 5km.

The app enables customers to locate and pick-up their bikes at one point and drop them off at a different point without the need for a docking station.

This year, there has been growing investor interest in the estimated $4.5 billion two-wheeler rental market in India.

Last week, Metro Bikes raised $12.2 million from Sequoia Capital India and Accel Partners, one of the largest Series A funding rounds raised by a local start-up.

“The rise in urban congestion requires a transformation in the way India commutes," said Tarun Davda, managing director at Matrix Partners India, in a statement. “Vogo’s localized approach of creating a scooter-sharing network through an automated, convenient and cost effective model represents one such transformation."

Mint reported on 18 April that Vogo was in advanced talks to raise 40-45 crore from Ola, Stellaris and Matrix Partners.

More than 27,000 users have commuted a distance of six million km using the Vogo mobile app, according to a statement released by the firm.

The start-up does not offer long-distance rides and plans to add more than 1,000 pickup points in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

“Our goal is to make a Vogo scooter available in every nook and corner of the country that’s plagued with issues like traffic congestion, pollution and growing population," said Anand Ayyadurai, founder and chief executive officer of Vogo.

Ayyadurai was an associate director at Flipkart and co-founded Vogo with Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal.

Last September, Vogo raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round from AV Thomas Group chairman Ajit Thomas, former Formula One driver Karun Chandhok and other individual investors.

Ola’s investment in Vogo indicates the company’s growing interest in expanding beyond cabs and becoming a one-stop platform for urban transportation.

Earlier this year, Ola bought transportation information provider Ridlr (Birds Eye Systems Pvt. Ltd) to expand its fledgling public transportation business that has become an important front in its fight against rival Uber.

In December, Ola started testing a bicycle sharing service in IIT Kanpur campus called Ola Pedal.

The company then said it was working on expanding the service.

Over the past 12-18 months, Ola has adopted an aggressive investment and acquisition strategy.

In December, it spent $40-50 million to buy food ordering app Foodpanda from its German parent Delivery Hero AG to re-enter the food delivery business.

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Updated: 14 Aug 2018, 07:51 AM IST
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