Vogo, India’s first automated scooter sharing platform for short haul commute, has announced that it has raised Series A round of funding led by ANI Technologies (Ola), and Hero MotoCorp Chairman Pawan Munjal, besides Stellaris Venture Partners & Matrix Partners India. Other investors including Aprameya Radhakrishna (Founder, TaxiForSure), Rajesh Yabaji (Founder, Blackbuck) and Mayank Bidawatka (Founder, Goodbox) also participated in the round.

Vogo is a dockless scooter rental company which lets customers rent scooters for short one-way trips at various locations across the city. The service is currently available in Bangalore and Hyderabad where Vogo users can access scooters from designated pickup and drop points across the city and drop it at any other point.

The app enables users to locate, unlock and pick up its scooters and bikes at one point, and drop it off at a different point, without the need for a docking station. Every Vogo scooter comes with an OTP-based IoT sensor, which allows customers to access the key without the need for any human intervention. The company plans to add over 1000 pickup points across Bangalore and Hyderabad in the coming year.

Anand Ayyadurai, Founder and CEO, Vogo, said, “Vogo was founded with a vision to revolutionise the existing transportation ecosystem in India, with a locally relevant solution that’s apt for a quick, inexpensive movement. Our goal is to make a Vogo scooter available in every nook and corner of the country that’s plagued with issues like traffic congestion, pollution and growing population. We’ve been working with the authorities since the launch of our operations late last year, to make this a reality in a vast majority of areas in Bengaluru and Hyderabad, and the response has been quite overwhelming.”

He added, “Success of our Series A funding round signals the trust and confidence our investors have in our vision. We see this partnership with Ola as a great strategic fit, and aim to leverage their products, technology and operations infrastructure, to better suit our customers’ needs.”

The trips average about 5 km per ride and make for an ideal first and last mile commute in cities plagued by traffic congestion.

Sandeep Divakaran, Vice President, Ola, said, “Mobility as an ecosystem in India provides immense opportunity to innovators to solve hyperlocal problems using technology and make everyday transportation convenient and affordable. As the country’s leading mobility platform, we are proud to have played a transformational role in building a robust and holistic transportation ecosystem at scale for millions of Indians.”

He added: “Vogo, a young innovator in the space is adding an effective layer to the first and last mile connectivity needs with its self-drive scooters. Their offering resonates with our vision and we are thrilled to be a part of their journey of providing smart and pocket-friendly transportation.”

Ritesh Banglani, Partner, Stellaris Venture Partners, said, “Short haul and last mile commuting is an unsolved problem in mass transportation in India. We believe Vogo can both increase the reach of public transport, as well as provide an affordable alternative for areas not yet serviced by it.”

“The rise in urban congestion requires a transformation in the way India commutes. Vogo’s localized approach of creating a scooter sharing network through an automated, convenient and cost effective model represents one such transformation. We are privileged to partner with Vogo on this journey, and look forward to working closely with them,” said Tarun Davda, Managing Director, Matrix India.

Founded in 2016 by Anand Ayyadurai, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal, Vogo offers a quicker alternative to existing forms of transport. It leverages an in-house hardware that gets attached to the scooter, allowing the customer to access the key without any human interaction. Using the Vogo mobile app, more than 27,000 users have commuted for over 6 million kilometres.