Zoomcar, the self-drive car rental company, has raised $24 million in Series B funding led by Ford Smart Mobility LLC with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Nokia Growth Partners and Empire Angels. Ford, according to Zoomcar, was its first OEM partner in 2013, when Zoomcar launched in India. It is also the largest supplier of vehicles to the self drive company.
Zoomcar will use the funds for scaling its Zoomcar Associate Program (ZAP), the marketplace model and on technology. It will also target a fleet size of 25,000 cars across 25 cities by 2018 and add to its current airport offerings. The ZAP program will account for 75% of its overall vehicle inventory by early 2017.
Previous funding: So far, Zoomcar has raised $45.2 million as indicated by CrunchBase. In July 2015, the company raised funding worth $11 million. In October 2014, it raised $8 million from Sequoia Capital, with participation from new investors Mohandas Pai and Abhay Jain. In October 2013, Zoomcar raised $1 million in seed funding, $200,000 from angel investor Raj Kumar Elango, $30,000 angel funding from former US treasury secretary Larry Summers and $215,000 from Empire Angels New York, Lady Barbara Judge among other angel investors.
ZAP to scale to 100,000 cars by 2019
The company launched the ZAP program in April this year which would allow Zoomcar’s users as well as other individuals buy one or more vehicles and lease them to Zoomcar and operate on a revenue sharing model. At the time, Greg Moran, co-founder and CEO of Zoomcar, told MediaNama that Zoomcar could scale this model to over 100,000 cars over the next 3 years. In July last year, Moran said that a majority of its cars were owned by the company, while the rest were attached from local operators.
As of now, Zoomcar claims to have around 2,000 cars across Bangalore, Pune, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi NCR, with above 75% occupancy. The company does not state if this occupancy is year round or seasonal. It also claims to have done 12 million kms in travel and has 1.5 million app downloads.
Ford Smart Mobility division: In March this year, Ford created a new subsidiary called Ford Smart Mobility LLC to focus on connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles and data and analytics. This would be headed by Jim Hackett and build on products and tech that the Ford Motor Company is already working on, as well as develop “commercially ready” mobility services and invest in such ventures.
In April this year, Google, Uber, Lyft, Volvo and Ford created a coalition called The Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets to influence lawmakers, regulators and the public with respect to autonomous vehicle technology in the US. In the same month, Ford showed off its self drive car which sees at night.