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    Tiger Global, Vogo in $50 million talks

    Synopsis

    India’s fast-growing mobility sector is garnering the interest of global investors.

    Vogo, which was founded in 2016 by Anand Ayyadurai, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal, has also had conversations with Japanese investor SoftBank.
    NEW DELHI: New York-based investment firm Tiger Global Management is in preliminary talks with Vogo Automotive, which owns and operates an eponymous scooter rental platform, to invest $40-50 million in the Bengaluru-headquartered startup, according to people aware of the development.

    A potential deal could be the latest in a string of risk capital transactions that have been made, or are in the process of being completed in India’s still nascent, but fast-growing mobility sector.

    While Tiger Global declined to comment, an email query sent to Vogo remained unanswered till as of press time.

    Tiger Global, one of the most influential investors in the Indian startup ecosystem, has been on a deal-making spree since late last year, racking up multiple investments in Asia’s third-largest economy after a three-year hiatus.

    While most of Tiger Global’s recent investments in India have been in the broader B2B or enterprise technology segments, it led a $75 million equity financing round in home services marketplace UrbanClap last week, marking a rare entry into a consumer-facing venture.

    Vogo, which competes with the likes of Drivezy and Bounce, counts venture capital firms Stellaris Venture Partners and Matrix Partners India, Hero MotoCorp chairman Pawan Munjal’s family office and TaxiForSure founder Aprameya Radhakrishna among its current set of investors.

    ET had reported earlier this week that Vogo, which was founded in 2016 by Anand Ayyadurai, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal, has also had conversations with Japanese investor SoftBank, although it is unclear whether the same will lead to an actual investment.

    However, like its peers, Vogo is also transitioning into the electric vehicle space. In December last year, it entered into an agreement with SoftBank-backed ride-hailing major Ola which will see the latter buy $100 million worth of scooters and provide them on a long-term lease to Vogo.

    Separately in July, ET, citing sources, reported that rival Bounce plans to raise $30 million exclusively for its electric vehicles subsidiary Zuink Smart Mobility Solutions, and is believed to have received in-principle board approval for it.

    Tiger Global, a long-time investor in ANI Technologies, which owns and operates ride-hailing platform Ola, had also participated in an estimated $56 million funding round in Ola Electric Mobility, the electric vehicle unit which had been spun off from the core business, in March this year.

    While India’s mobility sector, particularly the EV segment, has received a fair amount of support from policymakers, thereby witnessing a scramble for deals by investors, there are significant hurdles that startups operating in the space still have to overcome.

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