Zoomcar, the self-drive car rental company is looking to add more vehicles to its fleet by tying up with third-party vendors and dealers, the company’s CEO Greg Moran told MediaNama. Earlier today, the Economic Times had reported that Zoomcar pivoting to a marketplace model. However, Moran told MediaNama that the company is merely looking to bring more cars from third-party owners, rather than self-owned ones.
Zoomcar is also planning to enter newer markets in the coming months, and the marketplace model should help in expansion. It currently claims to have over 2,000 vehicles in India with operations in Bangalore, Pune, Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Chandigarh. The existing inventory of vehicles coming from third-party owners are largely helping the company to scale faster, and meet demands within existing markets, Moran added.
“We are focusing heavily on marketplace…we have seen enormous demand in the last six months. It has become clear that more vehicles from the marketplace model is the way we can grow our supply base and meet demand,” said Moran.
Zoomcar Associate program: The Zoomcar Associate Program (ZAP) launched in April is also helping in the shift towards marketplace: It lets Zoomcar users and other individuals buy one or more vehicles and lease them to Zoomcar on a revenue sharing model. The company will offer bank loans through its lending partners or let users buy a car with cash. Zoomcar claims that it will undertake all of the operations once the car signs up on the ZAP platform.
Moran told MediaNama that the company has received over 5,000 inquiries since late last quarter, when it started the program. He added that Zoomcar can scale this model to over 100,000 cars over the next 3 years. The ZAP program currently has over a hundred active members.
Zoomcar takes will take a 30% cut of revenue earned from each car each month under ZAP, but it will charge the owner fuel cost, servicing, maintaining and GPS tracking installation and working monthly. Apart from monthly earnings to car owners, Zoomcar also ffer 25% off on all their weekday bookings for the duration of 30 months lease of the ZAP program.
Funding: In July 2015, the company raised funding worth $11 million for vehicle and city expansion, hiring, and product and technology development. Then, it had over 1,500 cars across 250 pickup locations in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Chennai, and Hyderabad. In December 2015, it launched operations in Chandigarh.