Online cab aggregator Uber has invested Rs 200 crore in Mumbai-based car leasing firm Xchange Leasing between June and September 2016, reports the Mint. In December 2015, Uber partnered with the company to lease cars out to drivers and subsequently invested Rs 43 crore in it between January and March this year.
With this move, Uber has substantially increased its investment in leasing cars to drivers. Note that just last month the company said that it would lease over 200,000 cabs to drivers in India who wanted to join its platform under the initiative UberShaan. UberShaan would essentially work through Xchange Leasing. The company is betting big on leasing – it had said that “With our aim to empower a million by 2018 under UberShaan, we expect that potentially one out of the 5 new drivers would be on the platform through our leasing program.”
Leasing is not new to Uber: it had started its leasing program globally in 2013 in partnership with General Motors and Toyota Motor, amongst others. In May, Toyota Motors invested in Uber and stated that it would offer leases to Uber drivers. Drivers could repay payments with money they earned.
Uber isn’t the only one offering leased cars to drivers in India either. In September 2015, Ola had launched a cab leasing program, allowing drivers to lease a car for a deposit and monthly lease payments, with an option to own the vehicle after 3 years. The company had then stated that program was being launched with 1,000 sourced vehicles from Maruti Suzuki in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and 3 other cities. In November, Ola had tied up with Nissan India to provide Nissan and Datsun brands cars to its drivers. The company had stated then that it will add over 100,000 vehicles through cab leasing by the end of 2016.