Zoomcar Launches Self-Drive Car Rentals in Pune

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Popular Bangalore based company grows self-drive car rental to second city

Car rental by the hour, by the day, or by the month

"Self-Drive for the Self-Driven"

We plan to have cars in every neighborhood of every city where we operate. In order to provide the most seamless customer experience, it’s important to have vehicles right where our members live and work.

The popular Indian self-drive car rental company, Zoomcar, has expanded to its second city, Pune. Zoom is unusual in the Indian car-rental space because it allows customer to drive themselves. Over 95% of the industry is chauffeur-driven, and what self-drive options exist are largely in the unlicensed and unregulated "informal economy". Pune is India's 7th largest city, with a population over 5 million.

Zoomcar allows customers to rent self-drive cars on the web or on mobile apps for both Android and iOS. Advanced technology is present across the entire process from vehicle search to payments, to documentation, to pick-up and drop-off.

Zoomcar has launched in Pune with 4 locations: at the Formule 1 Hotel in Hinjewadi, at the Ibis Hotel in Viman Nagar, at the Hotel Ashish Plaza on FC Road, and at the Fiat Showroom in Model Colony. In Pune, Zoomcar offers Ford Figo, Ford Ecosport, Honda City, Mahindra Scorpio, Mahindra XUV 500, Tata Safari, and even Mercedes A Class. Tariffs start at just Rs 60/hour for the Figo.

Zoomcar has plans to add both new vehicles and new locations rapidly. The company currently has over 30 locations across Bangalore. The cars are parked in easily accessible convenient locations such as shopping malls, hotels, tech parks, and residential complexes. Zoomcar's Co-Founder and CEO, Greg Moran explained: "We plan to have cars in every neighborhood of every city where we operate. In order to provide the most seamless customer experience, it’s important to have vehicles right where our members live and work."

Zoomcar has set a number of car rental records in India, including:1st car rental company focusing exclusively on self-drive; 1st to develop a mobile app; 1st to have neighborhood-based vehicle locations; 1st to give the option of hourly rates; 1st to rent luxury cars for self-drive (BMW 3 Series and Mercedes A Class); and 1st to offer a plug-in electric vehicle (Mahindra REVA E2O).

The Indian personal-transportation space has been heating up, starting with the $140M acquisition of RedBus in June 2013. Since then, major investments have poured into the radio taxi sector, with Ola Cabs raising money from Sequoia, Matrix, and Tiger Global, and TaxiForSure raising money from Accel, Bessemer, and Helion. Uber, the San Francisco based global leader in luxury chauffer services, entered Bangalore in October 2013, and now counts India as its second-largest market, after the US.

Zoomcar was launched in Bangalore in February 2013 with just seven cars at one location. In 18 months, it has grown to over 200 vehicles across more than 35 locations. Co-Founder and President David Back described the enthusiastic customer response: "Despite Zoomcar's rapid growth, supply has not been able to meet demand every single week since we first launched in Bangalore - that's about 80 weeks in a row. Now we are getting a huge reaction to our launch in Pune. People in this city don't need or want a car everyday because employer transport and two wheelers provide a great way to get around day-to-day. But sometimes, people need a car."

Zoomcar has received a total of $2.9 Million in investment to date from both institutional and individual investors, including Larry Summers, Lady Barbara Judge, Empire Angels, FundersClub, Basset Investment Group, and Triangle Growth, as well as professors from Wharton, Harvard Law School, and Cambridge University's Judge School of Business.

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David Back
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