Zoomcar, backed by Sequoia, considers listing in US as travel awakens


Zoomcar Inc. is considering listing in the United States within 12 months to tap markets beyond its home port in India and as coronavirus health concerns bolster demand for rental cars.

“There is a lot of momentum in public markets for this type of story”, Zoomcar CEO and co-founder Greg Moran said in an interview on Friday, adding that a listing through a blank check company or special purpose acquiring company was also a possibility. “We’ve been working on this for a long time now, so it’s fair to want to bring liquidity to the system for early investors.”

Created in 2013, Zoomcar allows users to rent cars by the month, week, day or even by the hour. As Covid-19 ebbs into parts of the world, more people are ready to travel but want to avoid public transport. The Bangalore-based group expects to generate more than $ 100 million in revenue in this fiscal year through March, a figure that will more than double next year to around $ 203 million, Moran said. , refusing to give more details on the finances of the company.

Early backers include Sequoia Capital, former US Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a unit of Ford Motor Co. that invests in new mobility services. In 2018, Zoomcar launched a shared subscription model allowing users to rent their car if it is inactive. Zoomcar’s fleet consists of around 10,000 cars in 45 cities in India.

Zoomcar is taking advantage of investor appetite for auto-related startups. Based in the United States Getaround Inc. and Turo Inc., a San Francisco-based peer-to-peer car sharing company, are both are considering public listings to strengthen their balance sheets as leisure travel picks up. Stock in a venerable car rental company Avis Budget Group Inc. is up nearly 120% this year.

Read more: Once-doomed Hertz bounced back so much that even the editors were right

“Now is the perfect time,” Moran said. “In the context of Covid, there’s a lot of inherent tailwinds, which really helps us capture more of the mindset of consumers and gain market share. People want to go out and travel, they want to be social again. We are seeing remarkable trends towards domestic travel where you take a car, and this is where our personal mobility solution offers a significant opportunity. “

Zoomcar, which dominates the driverless car rental market in India, plans to expand to Southeast Asia and the Middle East this quarter, Moran said. Places like Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt and Saudi Arabia also have very low levels of motorization, but large and mobile populations.

It “screams that you need this service because there is just no accessibility to vehicles, and affordability is a huge constraint, just like India,” he said.


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