Bangalore-based Vogo Automotive Pvt Ltd, which operates a tech-enabled scooter sharing platform, VOGO, raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding led by the family members of the Murugappa, A.V. Thomas groups and Thiagaraja Groups, with participation from Ajit Thomas, Chairman of A.V.Thomas group, Hari Thiagarajan, ED, Thiagaraja Mills, Muthu Murugappan, Business Head Nutraceuticals - EID Parry and others.
The funds are slated to be used for building out the automated technology platform, innovation, building out the technology team and growing marketing efforts.
The company also announced the launch of India's first automated pickup and drop scooter rental platform, and these scooters are called SPARK. Once customer books, he uses an OTP to get the key and start the scooter. Every smart VOGO scooter has been engineered by the VOGO team with a complex array of sensors which transmit millions of data points.
VOGO can remotely track, monitor and control every Spark in real time and have made a mechanical scooter a connected intelligent IoT device. This ranges from vehicle health measurement via fuel and battery sensors, GPS for tracking, dicky and handlebar sensors and much more. This lets VOGO rebalance supply and demand, offer dynamic pricing and do intelligent bike allocation.
This now allows VOGO to offer 24/7 service and one-way travel at 50 percemt of the price of autos and taxis. VOGO plans to scale this automated system across hundreds of pickup and drop locations in each city and raise a large institutional round in the coming months to build a large pan-India network.
"We started out by identifying an early adopter segment, college students and solving their commute problems. Now more than 15000 students across 15 colleges and four cities use VOGO: we see those substituting taxis and autos with us. In 2017, we focused on building the automated IoT system to scale the business and now have end-to-end engineering capability across embedded systems, software development, and automotive space," said Anand Ayyadurai, CEO, VOGO.
Launched in 2016 by Anand Ayyadurai, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal, VOGO is building a scooter sharing network that would enable urban commuters to rent scooters for short-haul and offer a quick and cost-effective alternative to cabs and autos. They are present in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Manipal and Mysore.