Self-drive car rental start-up Zoomcar has raised $40 million in a Series C funding round led by auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M). The funding round also saw participation from existing investors. M&M will be investing `176 crore for a near 16% stake in the company.
The investment by M&M assumes significance given recent comments by its chairman Anand Mahindra in support of shared mobility.
In a statement, Zoomcar said the funds will be used primarily for accelerating its marketplace supply growth, improving its lead within applied IoT technologies, and expanding into additional mobility categories across India.
Zoomcar, with this latest round of funding, has raised $85 million. Other investors in the company are Ford, Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth Partners and Empire Angels.
Founded in 2013, Zoomcar currently operates over 3,000 vehicles, which is a mix of its own vehicles and third party subscribers. This car rental start-up recently launched its ZAP marketplace and introduced ZAP Subscribe, which allows users to own vehicles in a cost-efficient manner.
In October 2017, Zoomcar launched PEDL, a dock-less cycle sharing service. The service is currently available in 10 cities with a fleet of more than 3,000 cycles and completes nearly 15,000 rides per day. Zoomcar expects this fresh funding to help it hit over 15,000 subscriber vehicles on the platform before the end of 2018.
Commenting on the investment, Zoomcar co-founder and CEO Greg Moran said, “Our collaboration with Mahindra dates back to 2013 when we first kicked off in Bangalore. Most importantly, Mahindra shares Zoomcar’s vision for multi-modal urban mobility and we look forward to leveraging their diverse platform to help accelerate the transformation to a shared, electric mobility future for India.”
M&M and Zoomcar already have a partnership in the electric vehicles category. Zoomcar recently launched E2O plus vehicles in Mysore, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. In coming months, Zoomcar expects to add more than 500 Mahindra E2Os across 20 cities.
Besides, Mahindra SUVs already form a majority of Zoomcar’s fleet within that segment.
Pawan Goenka, MD, Mahindra & Mahindra, said, “At Mahindra, we are playing a pioneering role in the shared mobility business and are looking forward to an impetus in it through this investment in Zoomcar. We are confident that this partnership with Zoomcar will help further our vision to transform mobility in the country, thereby creating a more connected ecosystem.”