VOGO: Rent. Ride. Return | Scooter & Bike Rental

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The increasing popularity of shared mobility will slow global vehicle sales but not reverse them. Although there likely will be fewer new vehicles on the road because of sharing, car sales in developing countries will outpace shared mobility’s impact over the next 15 years. Still, through 2030, roughly a third of the expected increase in vehicle sales from urbanization and macroeconomic growth likely will not happen because of shared mobility.

Nonetheless, the shared-mobility story isn’t all bad for the industry, especially if automakers, suppliers, and the other mobility players take steps now to position themselves for it. While sharing cars likely means slower growth of vehicle sales, it also suggests strong new opportunities for automakers, suppliers, and many more mobility players. VOGO is a personal mobility player that aims to address the large urban commute challenges in India.

VOGO- Company Highlights

  • Company Name-VOGO Automotive Pvt. Ltd
  • Headquarter-Bangalore
  • Founders-Anand Ayyadurai, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal
  • Founded-2016
  • Sector-Two-wheeler Rental/Personal Mobility
  • Registered Entity Name-VOGO Automotive Pvt Ltd.

VOGO- About and How It Works

VOGO is a tech-enabled self-ride two-wheeler rental service provider that aims to address the large urban commute challenges in India. It endeavors to make daily commute affordable and hassle-free for customers. At present, the company offers two options for their customers: VOGO NOW where they charge by km and is typically used for short durations- like a few hours; VOGO Keep that offers long term rentals where people can rent scooters for a longer duration, from a day to 2 months. This ensures that they are not sharing their scooter with anyone else.

With an enthusiastic team, VOGO has disrupted the personal mobility industry with keyless scooters, home-delivery, one-click bookings, etc. and looks forward to creating a world-class platform for its customers and enable them to rent a two-wheeler anytime, anywhere, without any human intervention. The company is also committed to lead the movement of the country towards electric 2 wheelers and significantly reduce the carbon footprint of India.

VOGO- Founders

VOGO is founded by Anand Ayyadurai, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal.

Anand Ayyadurai, Co-Founder and CEO: Anand is responsible for outlining overall business strategies and managing a meritorious team. He has over a decade of experience with high-growth start-ups and international corporates like IBM Global Services, Flipkart, AstraZeneca, Brain valley Solutions, GE Commercial Finance, and Anand received his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIMA).

Padmanabhan Balakrishnan, Co-founder, and COO: Padmanabhan has had over a decade of experience in e-commerce operations and finance, which is put into use in his current role as the COO. At Vogo, he is responsible for the implementation of core business plans and ensuring continuous cash inflow. Prior to joining Vogo, Padmanabhan has worked with prominent corporates like Flipkart, Zoomcar, Amazon, Cognizant, Compin Group, and Air Liquide Gas AB. He holds an MBA from ESSEC Business School in marketing, strategy management, and entrepreneurship.

Sanchit Mittal, Co-Founder and CTO: Sanchit is responsible for developing cutting edge technology initiatives that form the backbone of the business.  He graduated with an engineering degree from IIT-Bombay and has over 14 years of experience in handling technology projects at multiple start-ups and corporates such as, GetKlarity, Rigvee Technologies, SlideRule, Liquid Pixels and MadRat Games.

VOGO has a team of 500+ people (184 on roll, 300+ off roll).

How was VOGO Started

The idea for VOGO came from the challenges that people faced every day in finding an easy mode of daily transport. When Anand first moved to Bangalore, he tried to car-pool, use an auto etc. for daily commute but, grew increasingly frustrated with these unreliable options and finally bought his own motorcycle. His friends, who are also the co-founders at VOGO, had similar experiences.

All of them believed there is a need to bring a fundamental change in how people commute. It either took too much time, charges were steep, or was inconvenient. Often, it was all these factors making the daily commute a cumbersome experience and therefore thought to make everyday transportation simpler. And thus, to address these routine challenges, they founded VOGO, an easy, affordable, and reliable commute option.

VOGO was first launched with one scooter at a large college fest and found people lining up and asking for more scooters. They quickly added 18 more scooters the next week and saw strong traction. The incident not only gave them the conviction to double down but also encouraged VOGO to set off on this crazy growth journey.

VOGO- Name, Logo and Tagline

VOGO means Vehicle On the GO. Their new visual approach is built around two circles which symbolizes two wheels of the scooter but also progress & movement.

VOGO- Vision and Mission

VOGO is a new-age mobility company that intends to complement public transportation by offering a solution for first and last-mile connectivity for daily commuters. Their vision is to democratize access to personal transport in India. Realizing that all common commute options are either too expensive, took a lot of time, or simply unreliable and inconvenient, their agenda is to make a personal vehicle available whenever a person has a need to travel.

VOGO- Industry Details

As per a Morgan Stanley report, India is expected to be a leader in shared mobility by 2030 as the rising share of electric and autonomous vehicles will improve shared mile economics. While the two-wheeler shared mobility market in India has the potential of 15 million daily trips. It is quite evident that India has the capacity to create an enormous network for transportation with millions of commuters utilizing public transport, on-demand services and personal mobility.

A recent report by KPMG suggests that a considerable portion of people have switched from public transport & shared cabs to micro-mobility. The industry expects the transition to two-wheelers for short term commute. Source – venture intelligence, KPMG.

In the next five years, VOGO clearly sees that future-mobility will evolve like no other sector, and to meet that demand there is a clear push towards cleaner technologies at present. This must be enabled through ecosystem development which includes domestic manufacturing, deployment of charging infrastructure, etc. The industry’s holistic goal is to commute without polluting.

VOGO- Products/ Services

The team of founders started VOGO with a vision to democratize access to personal transport in India. Realizing that all common commute options are either too expensive, took a lot of time or simply unreliable and inconvenient, they thought of making a personal vehicle available whenever a person has a need to travel.

Keeping this in mind, they first launched with one scooter at a large college fest and found people lining up and asking for more scooters. So, they quickly added 18 more scooters the next week and saw strong traction. At present, they have two products that help them manage the growing demand for self-ride two-wheelers amongst our customers and change their preferences. These are –

VOGO NOW is typically used for short durations- like a few hours and is charged by km

VOGO Keep that offers long term rentals where people can rent scooters for a longer duration, from a day to 2 months. This ensures that they are not sharing their scooter with anyone else.

Some of its USPs and innovations that help VOGO stand out includes:

The VOGO Concept: Today, low vehicle utilization, road congestion & in-efficient public-transportation are problems that plague mobility in India. On average, India’s daily vehicle utilization is close to 5%. Public-transportation in most urban cities still doesn’t have appropriate first mile and last-mile connectivity. VOGO exists to solve these inefficiencies and bring innovation & disruption into a large micro-mobility market.

Technology (IoT): VOGO invested heavily into its IoT (Internet of Things), to ensure that the entire booking process is automated, enabling faster scale, and to allow for remote scooter monitoring and security. VOGO has also launched India’s first 1-click booking experience for scooters where riders can connect their phone to the scooters via Bluetooth and directly start/stop the scooter from the app. IoT enabled operations that offers key less exchange of vehicle with negligible human intervention.

Demand Supply matching – They are building a strong network of pickup points, which should be within 200 meters of any customer anywhere. This is a very large data play- VOGO has built multiple algorithms which helps them understand customer routes, maximize the number of rides per vehicle, and become more accessible for customers.

Home-drop & sanitization- VOGO has introduced home delivery of sanitized scooters, a first-of-its-kind initiative, to ensure the safety of its customers.  A 4-step sanitization process has been introduced with live sanitization checks. The idea is to ensure that every vehicle is fully sanitized before use.

VOGO- Startup Launch

They bought 5 petrol scooters and launched at an event in SRM College in Chennai in Jan 2016.

The launch worked far beyond expectations. In Week 1, they did a hundred bookings. Their booking "engine" was a pen and paper Gantt chart and their "app" was an old Nokia phone which rang day and night. In Week 2, VOGO got another 13 scooters, and got five hundred orders.  Next month, VOGO moved lock, stock and barrel to Bangalore to grow the business there. There was no looking back after that for another year.

VOGO- Customers/ Clients

August 2016, VOGO launched its operations from Bangalore with 200 scooters. By December 2016, the company had acquired 10,000 users. This was largely attributed to word of mouth around new commute option of reliable, affordable scooters on the go. They invested a lot on getting referrals & doing hyper local activations.

VOGO- Challenges

November 2015, VOGO started with 50 cars & 1 scooters in Chennai. On Dec 2nd, one month later, Chennai was flooded. Anand walked through water for 2 hours to find all their cars six feet under water. Everything went down the drain - they went back to zero.

The team worked day & night for a week to get their cars towed. Got all of them repaired & hired them on Ola to meet its EMI burden, till they got their rental permit. It took 6 months to just get back to status quo.

While so many challenges faced over the years, Anand feel that they have become much more resilient now. There have been many high-pressure situations when he was close to running out of cash but always managed to find a way to keep things afloat. VOGO’s mission really helped them power through all the challenges and kept them motivated to do everything it took.

VOGO- Advisors/ Mentors

The company has received commitments of $150 Mn in Equity, Capital & Debt from some of the marquee investors including LGT Lightstone, Matrix Partners, Stellaris Venture Partners, Kalaari and Ola, India’s largest ride-hailing platform.

VOGO- Recognitions and Achievements

BW BusinessWorld Young Entrepreneur Award 2020

VOGO- Future Plans

VOGO currently offer its services in Bangalore and Hyderabad. VOGO has more than 2.5 million registered users & have serviced more than 10 million rides, covering more than 130 million kilometers

VOGO’s business model consists of an on-demand product (VOGO NOW) and a long-term rental product (VOGO KEEP). Post Covid, Vogo KEEP has been contributing more than 70% to their business. Customer retention for both models is extremely high- over 50% of VOGO KEEP’s customers opt to renew their subscriptions weekly. Further to resuming the services post Unlock 1.0, VOGO is continuously upgrading its technology to disrupt the mobility industry and has also retrieved 40% of the pre-lockdown levels till now.

Theyare strengthening their commitment towards sustainable / green mobility to contribute towards a healthy ecosystem by reducing carbon emission. As part of their new strategy, VOGO intend to go completely electric in a few years. They are also planning to expand their services in few cities in coming months

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