Ford-backed Indian self drive car rental service Zoomcar on Tuesday announced its plans to expand into twenty foreign markets, starting with Asia and then Africa, over the course of the next two years.
The firm said it has been researching overseas markets and will replicate its marketplace model, where individuals list their cars on Zoomcar's platform when not in use, to grow there. In India, Zoomcar is slowly moving away from owning its own fleet of vehicles, citing good unit economics from its associate programme.
"Our first move would be towards Asia and then eventually get into Africa, which is quite an uncharted market. From the tech point of view, there is a huge opportunity in Africa as few companies have come out with unique innovation whereas the demographics are like India," said Greg Moran, co-founder and CEO at Zoomcar.
With a fleet of 3,000 vehicles, 200,000 users and a presence in 25 cities across India, the company says it is profitable and looking at doubling its fleet size and revenues this financial year. Currently, 600 cars out of its entire fleet have come through its marketplace, which it plans to expand to 25,000 over the next two to three years.
In August last year, Zoomcar had raised $24 million in funding from Ford Smart Mobility LLC, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company that invests in new-age mobility solutions. The company is also backed by Sequoia Capital and raised a further undisclosed investment from Chinese VC firm Cyber Carrier CL in December.
Zoomcar, which was founded in April 2013 has slowly but steadily built its business in India. The company switched its model from an inventory led business to a marketplace, winning it recognition from Ford. However, there continue to be regulatory hurdles such as having a commercial license for a private car, but the company says it is in talks with several state governments to sort this out.