Sequoia-backed Zoomcar eyes US listing, reveals Middle East expansion plans

India-based company plans to expand to Southeast Asia and the Middle East this quarter, according to CEO and co-founder Greg Moran

Zoomcar allows users to rent cars by the month, week, day or even hour.

Zoomcar Inc. is considering a listing in the US within 12 months to tap markets beyond its home base of India and as coronavirus-related health concerns bolster demand for car rental.

“There’s a lot of momentum in the public markets for this type of story,” Zoomcar chief executive officer and co-founder Greg Moran said in an interview, adding that a listing via a blank-check firm or special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) was also a possibility. “We’ve been at it now for a long time so it’s only fair to want to bring liquidity into the system for early investors.”

Established in 2013, Zoomcar allows users to rent cars by the month, week, day or even hour. As Covid-19 ebbs in some parts of the world, more people are willing to travel but want to avoid public transport. The Bangalore-based group expects to generate over $100 million in revenue this fiscal year through March, a figure that will more than double next year to about $203m, Moran said, declining to elaborate further on the company’s finances.

“This is the perfect time,” Moran said. “Against the backdrop of Covid there are a lot of inherent tailwinds, which is really helping us capture more of the consumer mindset and gain market share. People want to get out and travel, they want to be social again. We’re seeing remarkable tendencies toward domestic travel where you’re taking a car, and that’s where our personal mobility solution holds significant possibility.”

Zoomcar, which dominates the self-drive car rental market in India, plans to expand to Southeast Asia and the Middle East this quarter, Moran said. Places like Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Egypt and Saudi Arabia also have very low levels of vehicle ownership but large, upwardly mobile populations.

That “screams out you need this service because there’s simply no vehicle accessibility, and affordability is a huge constraint, just like India”, he said.

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