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Ola invests $100 million in scooter-sharing startup Vogo

Livemint:  December 18, 2018

Bengaluru: India’s leading cab-hailing service Ola (ANI Technologies Pvt Ltd), an existing investor in Vogo, has invested $100 million in the scooter-sharing startup as part of a new strategic alliance that effectively signals Ola’s entry into the bike sharing space.

Ola said the investment will boost the supply on Vogo’s platform by helping the startup acquire at least 100,000 new scooters. Earlier this year, Vogo had raised $6-7 million in a Series A funding round led by Ola, Matrix Partners, Stellaris Venture Partners and Hero MotoCorp chairman Pawan Munjal. Ola said Vogo’s offerings would soon be available on Ola’s platform through its mobile app.

“Ola is committed to building a robust mobility ecosystem in India, creating a deep impact on livelihoods and how citizens get around. Our investment in Vogo will help build a smart multi-modal network for first-last mile connectivity in the country. Vogo’s automated scooter-sharing platform, backed by Ola’s expertise in this space can help transform our cities. Together, we are thrilled to be at the forefront of India’s rapidly growing micro-mobility market,” Ola co-founder and CEO Bhavish Aggarwal said in a statement.

Last September, Vogo raised an undisclosed amount as part of a seed round from AV Thomas Group chairman Ajit Thomas, former Formula One driver Karun Chandhok and other individual investors.

Ola’s latest strategic punt on Vogo indicates the company’s growing interest in expanding beyond cabs and becoming a one-stop platform for urban transportation.

Earlier this year, Ola bought transportation information provider Ridlr (Birds Eye Systems Pvt. Ltd) to expand its fledgling public transportation business, an important front in its fight against rival Uber.

In December, Ola started testing a bicycle sharing service in IIT Kanpur campus — Ola Pedal.

“Vogo has seen rapid growth in the last five months, growing over 10x in scale. We are thrilled to have Ola join us on this journey and help turbocharge our growth by providing us access to strategic and capital efficient supply as well as access to millions of customers on its platform in the time to come. Ola’s deep understanding of mobility and their investment to power additional supply are extremely valuable to Vogo. As we enter into our next phase of growth, we look forward to executing our synergistic vision of the future: smart and sustainable mobility for all,” said Anand Ayyadurai, founder and CEO of Vogo.

The bike rental space has given birth to several early-stage ventures over the past two years. Earlier this year, Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital invested in Metro Bikes. Bengaluru-based motorbike rental marketplace Wheelstreet raised $120,000 from US-based accelerator giant Y Combinator. Other similar ventures such as Tazzo and ONN Bikes also attracted investor attention.

Mint had first reported on November 2 that at least half a dozen new mobility startups—including Rapido, Ather Energy, Bounce and Vogo—are in advanced talks to raise large amounts of capital from investors.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.