ZipGo, an app-based provider of intra-city and inter-city bus services in India, today said it has raised Rs 300 crore in funding from Subhash Chandra-led Essel Group.
The series B funding is by Essel Green Mobility (EGM), a subsidiary of Essel Infraprojects Ltd (EIL) — the infrastructure arm of the Essel Group, a statement said.
“The investment is in line with EILs foray into electric vehicle segment this year,” the statement said.
EGM is the holding company for the electric-vehicles and green mobility initiatives of EIL. EIL has a diversified portfolio of infrastructure projects across 10 business verticals.
“This investment will be used to transition to a fleet of 100 per cent electric buses, expand our fleet and routes network in existing cities and starting operations in new cities,” Pritesh Gupta, co-founder and COO of ZipGo, said.
He added that the investment will also help in expanding operations in smaller cities such as Udaipur, Indore, Bhubaneswar, Mangalore, Tirupati and Visakhapatnam, among others.
“This investment is to help accelerate the growth of ZipGo and the adoption of electric buses in India. We have invested Rs 200 crore in ZipGos current intra-city and inter-city bus business to expand the fleet and route network and to transition to a 100 per cent electric buses fleet,” EIL CEO New Initiatives Ashok Agarwal said.
He added that an additional Rs 100 crore will be pumped in over the next 12 months to launch electric rickshaws across multiple states on the ZipGo platform.
ZipGo was launched by Jitender Sharma, Gaurav Agarwal and Pritesh Gupta after raising a USD 3 million seed investment in July 2015 from Orios Ventures.
It raised USD 6 million in Series A investment, co-led by Ventureast and Omidyar Network, in December 2016.
ZipGo started intra-city bus operations in Bengaluru in August 2015, and currently provides bus services for individuals and corporates in Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Hyderabad.
In February this year, EIL had forayed into the electric mobility space with an investment commitment of Rs 4,250 crore.
Last week, it started setting up electric charging stations and battery swapping terminals across 20 cities of Uttar Pradesh at an investment of Rs 1,750 crore, the statement said.
“The investment in ZipGo is a continuation of our commitment to further accelerate the adoption of EV technology in India,” Agarwal said.
Jitender Sharma, co-founder and CEO of ZipGo, said urban mass transport is a huge infrastructure gap in India.
“This investment, along with the support of the Essel Group, will now allow ZipGo to accelerate its growth, with a clear focus on green mobility, and successfully navigate the operational challenges of building a pan-India mass-transportation business,” he added.