India’s largest ride-hailing company Ola is diversifying its mobility portfolio and has announced that it invested ₹700 crores into Bengaluru-based scooter rental startup Vogo. The startup currently operates in Bengaluru and Hyderabad and allow users to rent scooters starting at ₹1.2 per kilometre.
“Our investment in Vogo will help build a smart multi-modal network for first-last mile connectivity in the country,” Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in a statement. “Vogo’s automated scooter-sharing platform, backed by Ola’s expertise in this space can help transform our cities. Together, we are thrilled to be at the forefront of India’s rapidly growing micro-mobility market,” he added.
Founded in 2016, the startup has raised $8 million till date. With the investment, Ola has formed a strategic partnership with the scooter hailing startup. Ola’s customers will soon be able to rent a Vogo scooter through Ola’s mobile app. Ola currently facilitates users to book rides on bike taxis, but Vogo is targeting a completely new market, and Ola wants to foray into that segment as well.
Vogo allows users to rent scooters and drive them around themselves. The startup provides both one way and round trips. Scooters can be picked up from any point and dropped at one of many Vogo points. Using IoT, Vogo has enabled renting scooters using a mobile application without much human intervention. The scooters have a ‘Vogo Box’ which tracks the movement in real time and helps to manage the fleet efficiently.
“Vogo has seen rapid growth in the last five months, growing over 10x in scale. We are thrilled to have Ola join us on this journey and help turbocharge our growth by providing us access to strategic and capital efficient supply as well as access to millions of customers on its platform in the time to come. Ola’s deep understanding of mobility and their investment to power additional supply are extremely valuable to Vogo. 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,” said Anand Ayyadurai, founder and CEO of Vogo.
The scooter sharing market in India is in the early stages and the latest investment from Ola can be marked as a forefront in the growing sharing ecosystem in the country. Experts are not sure about the size of the market yet. Since scooters are cheaper than cars, people tend to buy their own, thanks to all the finance companies, instead of renting them. With a limited number of pickup and drop points, it’s almost impossible to provide full end to end connectivity.
What do you think about the future of scooter sharing startups in the country?