Ola invests $100 M in bike-sharing platform Vogo; to supply 100K scootersSindhu Kashyaap
Bengaluru-based dockless scooter sharing platform Vogo has raised $100 million funding from Ola. The ride-hailing unicorn will help Vogo boost its supply by investing in 100,000 scooters. With this strategic fundraise, Vogo’s offerings will also be available on the Ola app.
In August this year, Vogo had raised an undisclosed Series A funding led by Ola and Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp. Matrix Partners and Stellaris Venture Partners.
This strategic fund raise will help Vogo reduce its capital expenditure. 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.
The platform claims to have severed over 20 million kilometres on its platform. Founded two years ago by Anand, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal, Vogo lets consumers rent scooters for short one-way trips to different locations across Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
Speaking of the latest development, Anand Ayyadurai, Founder and CEO, Vogo said, the platform has seen rapid growth in the past five months and has grown over 10x in scale. He added that Ola’s understanding of mobility and their investment to power supply are helpful to Vogo.
Anand said, “As we enter into our next phase of growth, we look forward to executing our synergistic vision of the future: smart and sustainable mobility for all.”
The team believes that India presents a unique, untapped opportunity for scooter-sharing. “With the backing of right partners, innovative solutions and nuanced market understanding, we are well-positioned to capitalise on this opportunity and create value for all,” Anand said.
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 Vogo scooters come in with an IoT device, which allows customers to access the vehicle with an OTP.
Speaking of the fundraise, Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO, Ola said in a press statement:
“Ola is committed to building a robust mobility ecosystem in India, creating a deep impact on livelihoods and how citizens get around. Our investment in Vogo will help build a smart multi-modal network for first-last mile connectivity in the country. Vogo’s automated scooter-sharing platform, backed by Ola’s expertise in this space, can help transform our cities.”
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 months back, Metro bikes, which was rebranded as Bounce, raised $12.2 million in funding led by Sequoia Capital.
This investment by Ola marks the Bengaluru-based unicorn’s entry into the scooter sharing segment. Two years back, Uber had launched uberMOTO in Hyderabad and in Chandigarh. 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.
Now, with this investment in the supply and access of Vogo on the Ola app, it is clear that Ola too is aggressively entering the space. Speaking about Vogo's growth, Tarun Davda, Managing Director, Matrix India says,
"As an early investor in both Ola and Vogo, we are happy to see the further deepening of the strategic partnership and believe it will accelerate the shared vision for a multi-modal future. Micro mobility at scale requires significant network density and the rapid expansion of the Vogo fleet will enable just that. We are privileged to be in business with the Vogo team and look forward to continue supporting them on their journey to transform urban commute in a convenient and cost-effective way.”