Scooter rental startup Vogo raises seed funding

Vogo Automotive Pvt. Ltd, which runs online scooter rental startup Vogo, has raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round led by AV Thomas Group chairman Ajit Thomas, executive director at Thiagarajar Mills Hari Thiagarajan, and business head - nutraceuticals at EID Parry Muthu Murugappan.

Sriram Viji of Brakes India, Vishesh Rajaram of venture capital fund Speciale Invest, former Formula 1 driver Karun Chandhok, and other high-net-worth individuals also put in money, the company said in a statement.

The firm will use the capital for building its automated technology platform, expanding the technology team and for marketing, the statement added.

“Vogo operates an asset-light model and has a differentiated product road map that puts them ahead of the pack," said Rajaram of Speciale Invest.

Vogo Automotive was founded in 2016 by Anand Ayyadurai, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal. Ayyadurai and Balakrishnan have worked at Flipkart, among other places, in the past.

The company claims to have launched India’s first automated pickup-and-drop scooter rental platform. Vogo can remotely track and monitor scooters in real time, making them an Internet of Things (IoT) device. It is currently operational in Mysore, Manipal, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

“More than 15,000 students across 15 colleges and four cities use Vogo. We see them substituting taxis and autos with us... what happened with cycle-sharing in China will happen with scooter-sharing in India,” said Ayyadurai.

In the online bike rental space, Bashar Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which owns and operates Wheelstreet, raised $120,000 in seed funding from Silicon Valley-based startup accelerator Y Combinator.

Another bike rental aggregator, Hyderabad-based Tazzo, had secured seed funding of Rs 1.5 crore from DSG Consumer Partners in October 2016.

In December 2016, Mumbai-based bike rental startup ONN Bikes had secured an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Grace Capital Ventures and four individual investors.

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