Auto major Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) Ltd has infused $27.6 million (Rs 176 crore) in self-drive car rental startup Zoomcar. The investment gives auto major 16% stake in the Bengaluru based startup. M&M’s investment was part of Zoomcar’s series C funding round that also saw participation by some of the existing investors. Overall, the startup managed to raise $40 million (Rs 256 crore) through this round and with it the company has taken its valuation to around $172 million (Rs 1,100 crore).
Last month, VCCircle had reported that M&M and Ford Smart Mobility (startup arm of Ford Motors) has signed a MOU with Zoomcar to initiate a fundraising round. Interestingly, M&M and Ford vehicles account for a major chunk in Zoomcar’s 3000 odd fleet of vehicles. Following the latest fund raising round, their share may now increase further in company’s fleet size.
The fresh capital infusion by M&M may prove to be really handy as the startup looks to expand its business beyond Indian shores. It is especially eyeing market opportunities in Asia and African countries. The company also started bicycle sharing service in October last year in a bid to increase its revenue.
Zoomcar seems to be on a Strong Footing
Since its inception five years back with a pilot project in Bengaluru, Zoomcar has steadily grown to increase its presence over 27 Indian cities. Today the company offers its services in major metropolitan cites like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune Chennai and Hyderabad along with second tier cities like Agra, Nagpur, Kochi and Udaipur.
The company courts some of the high profile names as its investors, including Ford, Sequoia Capital, Ex Infosys CFO TV Mohandas Pai and former US treasury secretary Lawrence Summers. Owing to its different business, experts don’t consider Zoomcar to be a direct competitor of Ola and Uber.