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Zoomcar hits the right note

Rutam V Vora | Updated on: Aug 09, 2018
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The self-drive car rental company is bullish on India

The emergence of self-drive car rental startups such as Zoomcar is set to change the course of mobility in the country.

The company, which recently raised $3.6 million (around ₹25 crore) from Silicon Valley-based Trifecta Venture Debt Fund, has set its eyes on urban mobility needs.

Greg Moran, Co-founder and CEO of Zoomcar, believes there is huge potential for affordable and convenient self-drive car rentals in metros and Tier-2 cities.

“We are doubling our subscriber base every month in markets such as Ahmedabad,” he told BusinessLine during a recent stopover at Ahmedabad. “In the last few years, there has been a remarkable mindset shift among Indian car users from ownership to access of a personal vehicle.”

Present in over 30 cities, the Bengaluru-based startup has a fleet size of about 4,000 cars, which is likely to touch 6,000 by this quarter. “We are looking at doubling our current fleet size by the end of the calendar,” he said.

As part of a two-pronged approach to increase revenues, Zoomcar is encouraging users for its ZAP Subscribe business model, which leverages the concept of car access without ownership. “It infuses the element of the shared economy to provide low-cost access to a personal vehicle,” added Moran.

The ZAP model is “booming” with almost 1000 registered associates translating into 25 per cent of its fleet via subscriber cars. Each car has about 20 bookings on an average every month.

The model also allows hassle-free access to a personal car without down-payments, services and insurance. The subscriber gets a car for anywhere between six and 24 months. The registration fee is ₹2,100 and the quantum of monthly payment depends on the car model. As part of this effort, Zoomcar has partnered with Maruti, Hyundai, Ford, Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors.

Launched in April 2013, Zoomcar posted a revenue of ₹121 crore for the 2017 fiscal. Thus far, it has had over a million trips with an average ticket size of ₹4000-₹6000. “On the basis of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation), we have already achieved break-even. There is no need for fresh fund-raising as we are presently more focussed on execution of our model,” elaborated Moran.

While the middle-income group is the largest user of self-drive car rentals, about 80 per cent of bookings over weekends are for out-of-city travel. Zoomcar is also among the first rental services to offer electric mobility with the Mahindra e2oPlus.

Published on August 09, 2018

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