Indian vehicle sharing startup Drivezy eyes U.S., Southeast Asia
By Atul Ranjan
NEW DELHI, NNA – Indian car and bike rental startup Drivezy plans to expand its domestic service and take the business overseas this year.
The company says it has over 1.5 million users in 11 Indian cities and plans to add 10 more cities as well as San Francisco.
“We are also evaluating markets in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam for further expansion,” Ashwarya Singh, co-founder and chief executive officer of Drivezy India Travels Pvt., told NNA.
He said the firm may launch services in some of these Southeast Asian countries in the next fiscal year starting April 1, “most probably by the third quarter (October-December) of the fiscal year.”
The company, which was founded in 2015, is seeking to raise an additional $100 million in equity funding from investors in Japan and elsewhere to pay for the expansion.
“We are currently in talks with multiple investors including Japan’s SoftBank, and we expect to close the round in the next few months,” a senior company official, who declined to be named, told NNA.
The firm in India already has raised about $36 million in equity from various investors including four Japanese firms -- IT-Farm Corp., Das Capital, Yamaha Motor Co. and CrowdWorks Inc. -- and two U.S. companies, Y Combinator Management LLC. and Google Inc.
Last year Drivezy secured $100 million in an asset financing deal with AnyPay Pte., a group firm of Tokyo-based AnyPay Inc.
Drivezy will add 50,000 vehicles to its platform, where people list their vehicles and rent them to registered users.
“The funds will be deployed over a period of three years, through a special purpose vehicle of Harbourfront Capital, which will focus on investment in global shared assets,” Drivezy said in a statement.
Anypay said its arrangement with Drivezy is aimed at bridging the supply-demand gap by forming tie-ups with local non-bank financial companies to acquire more cars and motorcycles to be deployed on Drivezy’s sharing platform.
“With less than 8 percent of Indian citizens owning a car, the rapidly growing car and bike sharing industry could provide convenient and sustainable mobility to millions of urban Indian residents,” Singh said.
The company offers both cars and two-wheeled vehicles on its platform and currently has over 10,000 vehicles.