Bengaluru-based scooter sharing platform, Vogo has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding led by the family members of the Murugappa, A.V. Thomas groups & Thiagaraja Groups.
The funding round has also seen participation from Ajit Thomas, Chairman of A.V.Thomas group, Hari Thiagarajan, ED, Thiagaraja Mills, Muthu Murugappan, Business Head Nutraceuticals - EID Parry, Sriram Viji from Brakes India, Vishesh Rajaram from the VC fund, Speciale Invest, Karan Chandhok - Indian formula 1 driver and other HNIs.
Vogo will use the funds to build out the automated technology platform, innovation, building out the technology team and growing marketing efforts.
Launched in 2016 by Anand Ayyadurai, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal, Vogo a scooter sharing network that allows urban commuters to rent scooters for short haul. They are present in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Manipal and Mysore.
Vogo currently sees over 5000 orders a month, of which, a significant percentage comes from from short trips and on weekdays.
The company has also announced the launch of India‚Äôs first automated pickup and drop scooter rental platform, and these scooters are called SPARK.
Once customer books a Spark, he uses an OTP to get the key and start the scooter. Every smart VOGO scooter has been engineered by the Vogo team with a complex array of sensors which transmit millions of data points.
Vogo can remotely track, monitor and control every Spark in real time and making the scooter a connected IoT device. It can track vehicle health measurement via fuel and battery sensors, GPS for tracking, dicky and handlebar sensors and much more.
The startup claims that it allows it to offer 24x7 service and one-way travel at 50% of the price of autos and taxis.
VOGO plans to scale this automated system across hundreds of pickup and drop locations in each city and raise a large institutional round in the coming months to build a large pan-India network.
We believe that what happened with China with cycle sharing will happen with India with scooter sharing. In 2017, we focused on building the automated IoT system to scale the business and now have end-to-end engineering capability across embedded systems, software development, and automotive space,‚ÄĚ says Anand Ayyadurai, CEO, Vogo.
Vogo started out as a solution to commute problems of college students and now claims to have over 15,000 students across 15 colleges and four cities using Vogo.
"Short-haul and last mile commute are large components of urban commute and sized in billions of dollars. Vogo is disrupting this segment by offering a more efficient, automated and cost-effective option of scooter sharing and renting. They operate an asset-light model and have a differentiated product road-map that puts them ahead of the pack," says Vishesh Rajaram, Speciale Invest.