Zoomcar has $30 million in the boot

BENGALURU: Self-drive car rental platform Zoomcar has raised $30 million (Rs 213 crore) in a fresh funding led by Sony Innovation Fund, the venture arm of Japanese electronics giant Sony.

The investment, which saw participation from existing investors as well, is part of the company’s ongoing $100 million Series-D funding round, the company said in a statement.

Zoomcar will deploy the capital in growing its service beyond the 45 cities it already has a presence in, while also investing in technology, data science and innovations around the Internet of Things.

The company said it is committed to growing its fleet by 10 times in the next 18-24 months to 1 lakh vehicles. Another area of growth will be the shared subscription model that allows customers to rent cars for tenures spanning 6-36 months. Zoomcar claimed it hit a 15,000-subscription run rate in the third quarter of last year.

“With the growth of shared economy across the globe, subscription-based car ownership is becoming an increasing trend,” the company said in a statement.

The investment comes at a time when competition in the self-drive car rental space is heating up, with ride-hailing company Ola looking to expand its presence in the sector. When it launched the service in October, Ola had said it was looking to build a fleet of 20,000 self-drive cars by 2020. Buoyed by higher margins than its traditional cab-hailing business, Ola is resurrecting its leasing business to cater to self-drive, corporate leasing and scooter sharing, ET reported on January 7.

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