Mahindra invests Rs 176 cr in Bangalore-based car rental start-up Zoomcar

Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd said it would invest up to Rs 176 cr in Bangalore-based car rental firm Zoomcar for a stake of up to 16%.

Zoomcar, which calls itself a self-drive mobility platform, has been offering car sharing services from 2013 for as low as Rs 65 per hour. It also started a “cycle sharing” business last year.

Headquartered in Bangalore, Zoomcar operates a fleet of over 2,500 vehicles in 27 cities across India and has over 200 employees. Mahindra said a significant proportion of the company’s 2,500 cars were made by M&M.

This is not the first association between the two companies.

Last year, the two companies announced a partnership to introduce electric vehicles into the shared mobility space.

Zoomcar recently launched Mahindra e20Plus electric vehicles across Mysore, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. Going forward it expects to add another 500+ Mahindra EVs across more than 20 cities pan-India, in the first half of 2018, the Indian automaker said.

For the year FY17, Zoomcar had revenue of Rs 121 cr, up from Rs 90 cr in the year before.

The investment is part of Zoomcar’s $40 mn (Rs 255 cr) ‘Series C’ fund-raising round.

Zoomcar said the money will be used to “primarily for accelerating its marketplace supply growth, improving its lead within applied IoT technologies, and expanding into additional mobility categories across India”.

The online company is expanding into online car trading and into “car subscriptions” under its ZAP mobile app brand.

“Mahindra has been keen to invest in the shared mobility space as a part of its strategy to promote and participate in sustainable mobility solutions, including multi modal urban mobility,” said Mahindra & Mahindra.

“This investment in India’s leading self-drive shared mobility company will enable the company to further its objective.. of enabling improved livelihoods and lifestyles of people,” it said.

Greg Moran, Co-Founder & CEO, Zoomcar said his company’s collaboration with Mahindra dates back to 2013 when they started off in Bangalore.

“Most importantly, Mahindra shares Zoomcar’s vision for multi-modal urban mobility and we look forward to leveraging their diverse platform to help accelerate the transformation to a shared, electric mobility future for India,” he added.