Bike-sharing startup Vogo, is receiving funding from Ola and the amount could be between $5 million to $7 million. Apart from Ola the other investors to participate in this round of funding for Vogo will be Stellaris Venture Partners and Matrix Partners India.
Even as the urban mobility space is receiving increasing attention, with Uber getting into bicycle sharing in major US cities, Olaâ€™s interest in scooter sharing business in India is quite understandable. In fact, Ola is currently also piloting Ola Pedal, a bicycle sharing service in some university campuses including IIT Kanpur.
Like any other self-driven vehicle-sharing operation, Vogo has designated points in cities from where customers can ride away in a scooter and once their work is completed, park it in the designated points and carry on.
The scooters will be provided with remote locks that can be opened via the mobile phone app. And the charges are also absolutely reasonable at Rs 10 for 30 minutes. The vehiclesâ€™ location and condition can also be tracked remotely by Vogo. If and when the funding deal goes through and Ola becomes an investor in Vogo, the latter can derive the benefit of Olaâ€™s depth of experience in the cab hiring operations and data analytics can help with the insight into the demand patters around the city and the best times of the day and days of the week when the demand spikes. Such data help with planning the deployment of the vehicles and gaining business.
Other startups in similar space include Metrobikes and RentOnGo. The second mentioned has been promoted by the TVS Group while Metrobikes is said to be currently in talks with major VCs, like Sequoia Capital and Accel to raise $10 million in funding.
Vogo itself had earlier raised funds from South-based business families like the Murugappa Group, AV Thomas (the tea people) and the Thiagarajans (Shriram Group).