zoomcar_logo_smallZoom, a car rental service based out of Bangalore has raised $215,000 in angel funding from Empire Angels, New York and an investor group based out of U.K led by Lady Barbara Judge reports TechCircle. Speaking to Medianama, Greg Moran, Co-founder and President, Zoom said that they plan on expanding to South  Bangalore by May or June, and Mumbai and Delhi by the end of this year, before expanding to Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. They presently own 10 cars, and the funding will be used to expand vehicle fleet, daily operation, building technology and hiring more employees.

Self-driven Car Rental Service & Their Use Of Technology

Zoom charges Rs 199 per hour and Rs 1999 per day for a Ford Figo and Rs 249 per hour and Rs 2499 per day for a Mahindra Scorpio. No deposits are required and the prices are inclusive of the fuel cost. Here’s how they’re using technology:

– To book a car, users are required to sign up on their website. While registering as a member, the drivers are also required to upload a scanned copy of their valid driver’s license which will be verified during the pickup. This will have to change if they want to enable airport based rentals and encourage walk-in’s into locations, which will require assisted registrations.

– When we checked their website, we noticed that users can click on the Search Cars tab and look for cabs for the required date and time, but more interestingly, search for cars that are closest to you.

– To unlock the car at the pickup location, drivers are required to use the Zoom app or SMS to an unique number to unlock the car. The same can also be used to lock the car in case you want to park it.This number is connected to the driver’s phone number. This is to ensure that only the drivers have access to lock or unlock the car. In case, someone manages to unlock the car and enter it, Zoom’s back end system will have the control to stop ignition, added Moran. Their SMS service has been deployed in part and is likely to be fully operational from the next week.

Zoom Android App

Zoom has an android app and is likely to launch its iOS app by next week. 

– Zoom installs a security system inside each car to monitor it through GPS in real time. The system in the back end can monitor speed, fuel, lights in the car, distance, current location, among others. If the car’s engine has been in ignition for a while and is not moving forward, then they send an SMS to the driver to turn off the car.

Target for this service:

Moran said that Zoom targets different demographics such as families and younsters who would like to book a car once in a while. Zoom also targets corporate employees who have daily company pick up to go to work but do not have a vehicle to travel for an official meeting. Some of their corporate clients include Amazon, Hindustan Lever and Cocoa Cola. They also target Non-Resident Indians (NRIs). The company’s value proposition for them is lower prices compared to transportation offered by five star hotels.

 

Related Developments

AssetTrackr, providing vehicle tracking solutions recently raised angel funding of $500, 000.