Bangalore-based Car sharing service Zoom has raised $1 million seed funding led by the existing investor Empire Angels (New York, US) and participation from other investors like Funders Club (San Francisco, US), Basset Investment Group, Lady Barbara Judge and other angel investors, reports The Times Of India. The company plans to use the funds raised to scale up its car fleet and for technology development.
Prior to this, the company had raised $650,000 across several angel rounds. This includes a $200,000 investment from angel investor Raj Kumar Elango in July 2013, a $30,000 funding from former US treasury secretary Larry Summers and a $215,000 funding round from Empire Angels, Lady Barbara Judge and other angel investors in May 2013.
Modeled on the US-based Zipcar, Zoom is a membership-based car sharing service, which allows Zoom members to book self-drive cars on a hourly or a daily basis in the country. It currently offers a web-based reservation system and mobile apps across iOS and Android. The user will however have to drop the vehicle back at the same place from where the vehicle was picked up.
Zoom currently has five sites in Bangalore (Malleshwaram, JP Nagar, Whitefield, Residency Road and Ulsoor), up from two sites in July 2013 and plans to add two more sites by November. In April 2013, it had also mentioned plans of expanding to Mumbai and Delhi by the end of this year and later to other cities like Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune.
Zoom claims to have 52 cars at present, up from 30 cars in July 2013. This includes the recently introduced Volkswagen Vento, Mahindra Scorpio, Ford Figo, BMW 3 Series and Mahindra Reva e2o. The tariff varies depending on the type of the car and it includes fuel, insurance, car maintenance costs and tax.
Competitors: Zoom competes with Carzonrent which offers self drive facility in Bangalore, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad and Mumbai. It had also recently partnered Mahindra Reva to offer Mahindra Reva e2o as a self drive car option in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
Besides this, there are a bunch of car rental services in the country like the recently launched Uber, Olacabs, Taxiforsure, Getmecab.com, Savaari, Meru Cabs and others. In August 2013, JustDial had also introduced online cab bookings.