Ola-backed scooter rentals startup Vogo lays off 40 people

Ola-backed scooter rentals startup Vogo lays off 40 people
Photo Credit: VCCircle
5 Mar, 2020

Scooter rental startup Vogo Automotive has laid off 37 employees from the internet of things (IoT) division and three more from the marketing and product design team, a company spokesperson told TechCircle on Thursday.

The Bengaluru-based company said the people laid off were part of a time-bound project to digitally transform its fleet of dockless, IoT-enabled scooters, which was completed. The transformation included bluetooth-based keyless vehicles, vehicle quality-based personalised recommendations and radio-frequency identification (RFID)-based helmet detection prototypes.

“We have extended full support to all team members who have been impacted, including enhanced severance and benefits. Vogo continues to grow and hire quality talent across various functions especially in engineering and product and other key roles,” the spokeswoman added.

The layoffs were first reported by digital publication Entrackr.

In February, the startup was in the process of raising $19 million in a Series C round of funding from Lightstone Global Fund, and venture capital firms Kalaari Capital and Matrix Partners. It also raised about $5 million in debt from venture debt firm Alteria Capital.

In the financial year 2018-19, Vogo’s losses widened to Rs 39.2 crore from Rs 3.3 crore in the previous year as its cash burn rose eight times to Rs 46.3 crore from Rs 5.4 crore.

Vogo’s competitor is Bengaluru-based startup Bounce, a comparably higher-funded online mobility startup. Earlier this year, it raised $97 million in a Series D round led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital fund B Capital.

Founded in 2014, Bounce has raised around $190 million till date. So far, Vogo has raised a little over $40 million in funding, according to data available with VCCEdge.

Vogo was founded in 2016 by Anand Ayyadurai, Padmanabhan Balakrishnan and Sanchit Mittal. It operates an automated pickup-and-drop scooter rental platform tracking the scooters in real-time.