Putting speculation to rest, Vogo, the Bengaluru-based scooter sharing platform Vogo on Tuesday confirmed its Series A fund raise. While the amount was undisclosed, the round was led by Ola and Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp. Matrix Partners and Stellaris Venture Partners also invested in this round of funding.
Aprameya Radhakrishna, Co-founder, Vokal and Founder, TaxiForSure, Rajesh Yabaji, Founder Blackbuck and Mayank Bidawatka, Co-founder Vokal and Goodbox also participated in this round of funding.
“We are looking to bring a deeper and larger product market fit. In that sense, this round of funding will help us increase our fleet size and have a deeper reach within Bengaluru and Hyderabad,” says Anand Ayyadurai, Founder and CEO, Vogo. Apart from this the funding will also aid in marketing efforts and in strengthening the team.
The company currently operates in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, and plans to add over 1,000 pickup points across Bengaluru and Hyderabad in the coming year.
Founded two years ago by Anand, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal, Vogo is a dockless scooter sharing company. The platform lets consumers rent scooters for short one-way trips to different locations across Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
The app enables users to locate, unlock, and pick-up its scooters and bikes at one point, and drop it off at a different point, without the need for a docking station.
“The rise in urban congestion requires a transformation in the way India commutes. Vogo’s localised approach of creating a scooter sharing network through an automated, convenient and cost effective model represents one such transformation. We are privileged to partner with Vogo on this journey, and look forward to working closely with them,” said Tarun Davda, Managing Director, Matrix India in a press statement.
Every Vogo scooter comes with an OTP-based IoT sensor, that allows customers to access the key without the need for any human intervention, and start the ride seamlessly. The consumers are charged Rs 5 per kilometre.
Anand says their goal is to make a Vogo scooter available in every nook and corner of the country.
“We’ve been working with the authorities since the launch of our operations late last year, to make this a reality in a vast majority of areas in Bengaluru and Hyderabad.”
He says that they see this partnership with Ola as a great strategic fit, and aim to leverage their products, technology and operations infrastructure, to better suit customers needs.
The scooter-sharing segment is growing fast in India. There is also Rapido, which currently claims to have over 4,000 bikes in Bengaluru, and over 1,000 in Gurgaon. A few days back, Metro bikes, which was rebranded as Bounce, raised $12.2 million in funding led by Sequoia Capital.
A study by AlphaBeta Analytics suggests that globally Uber users save 38 percent time with uberMOTO and nine to 18 percent with uberX compared to modes of transportation available earlier.
Sandeep Divakaran, Vice President, Ola, says mobility as an ecosystem in India provides immense opportunity to innovators to solve hyperlocal problems using technology and make everyday transportation convenient and affordable.
“Vogo is a young innovator in the space that is adding an effective layer to the first and last mile connectivity needs with its self-drive scooters. Its offering resonates with our vision and we are thrilled to be a part of their journey of providing smart and pocket-friendly transportation,” he said.
Vogo leverages innovative inhouse hardware that gets attached to the scooter, allowing the customer to access the key without any human interaction and be on their way. Using the Vogo mobile app, more than 27,000 users have commuted for over six million kilometres.
Ritesh Banglani, Partner, Stellaris Venture Partners said, “Short haul and last mile commuting is an unsolved problem in mass transportation in India. We believe Vogo can both increase the reach of public transport, as well as provide an affordable alternative for areas not yet serviced by it.”