India’s Zoomcar raises $92 million to expand its car rental marketplace to new markets

Zoomcar said on Monday that it has raised $92 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand its car-sharing marketplace to many new nations and explore the public markets next year.

New York City-headquartered SternAegis Ventures led the eight-year-old startup’s Series E financing round, the two said.

Bangalore-based Zoomcar, which has raised $207 million to date, allows users to rent cars by the month, week, day or even hour. The startup, which counts India as its biggest market, operates in several nations, including many in Southeast Asia and the MENA regions.

The Sequoia Capital India-backed startup, which employs more than 300 people, says it has amassed over 10,000 cars on its platform. Zoomcar works with individuals, SMEs that operate fleets and semi-professionals who have a couple of cars to source cars on its marketplace.

It also maintains partnerships with banks and insurance firms and offers a range of cars, from compact to luxury and “everything in between.” It expects its platform to be heavily focused on electric vehicles in the medium term as it sees great potential in the space, said Greg Moran, co-founder and chief executive of Zoomcar, pointing to the inroads Turo and other firms have made in this category in several developed markets.

“We are the largest emerging market-focused marketplace for car sharing in the world. Think of us as Airbnb for cars, but for emerging markets,” he said in an interview with TechCrunch.

“Globally, there are about 35 countries that are emerging markets. All of these have less than 10% of car ownerships. In fact, most of them have car ownership of less than 5%. So you have a huge middle class that simply doesn’t have access to private cars. But they need to use these cars a couple of times a month,” he said.

Moran said the startup will deploy the fresh capital to expand the marketplace in over 20 countries in the next 18 months.

Zoomcar is also currently aiming to file for an IPO next year, Moran said, adding that he is evaluating listing on a U.S. exchange. (This is in line with several Bangalore-based startups that are also eyeing Nasdaq and New York Stock Exchange for listing in the next two years.)

“Zoomcar sits at the intersection of several powerful global trends across urban mobility. At SternAegis, we’re delighted to support the impressive Zoomcar team in fulfilling their vision of creating the best car sharing experience across the world’s fastest growing, most dynamic markets,” said Adam Stern, chief executive of SternAegis Ventures, in a statement.