In a significant move, Zoomcar, the leading player in the digital car rental space, has successfully gone public on NASDAQ through a merger deal with IOAC. In an exclusive interview with ETTravelWorld, Greg Moran, CEO & Co-Founder of Zoomcar, expressed his excitement and satisfaction about this milestone, highlighting the rarity of homegrown companies making it to the US exchange. He emphasised the strong partnership formed with IOAC, particularly with its Chairman & CEOMohan Ananda, who is also the primary sponsor of the SPAC and is now a significant investor in Zoomcar.During the interaction, Moran stated, “The alignment of medium to long-term goals in building out Zoomcar from a fundamental standpoint is very aligned, and that’s not super often in an IPO transaction.”
The choice of NASDAQ was deliberate, given Zoomcar’s expansion plans outside India, with a footprint in Indonesia and Egypt, and aspirations to enter new geographies across Southeast Asia and Latin America.
SPAC Route for Going Public
When asked about the decision to go public through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), Moran highlighted the benefits for a company of Zoomcar’s scale. He pointed out the concrete partnership formed with the investor base and the better visibility into the capital acquired, providing more confidence and focus on core execution.
“The SPAC transaction is a little more defined, and you can focus a little more on the core execution as opposed to very extensive marketing efforts, which is typically the case in a regular IPO,” Moran explained.
Global Expansion Plans
Zoomcar’s growth plans include expanding its footprint in emerging markets. Moran identified India and Indonesia as strong emerging markets and outlined plans to enter markets like Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Brazil, and Mexico in the coming quarters.
Bullish on India’s Market
Moran further expressed a bullish outlook for the Indian market, highlighting Zoomcar’s 90 per cent market share in the country. He emphasised the vast untapped opportunity in India, with millions of potential hosts and users yet to explore the platform. The company plans to dial up its investment, particularly in Tier-II cities, tourist destinations, and regions with significant travel and tourism potential.
AI Integration and Product Features
Zoomcar, which distinguishes itself with AI-driven solutions for user experience, including machine learning models for matching supply and demand, personalisation for guests and hosts, and advanced fraud detection is also seamlessly integrating AI into the platform, with a focus on creating next-level personalisation for users.
No Plans for US Market Entry
Despite its listing on NASDAQ, Zoomcar has no plans to operate in developed or mature markets like the US or Europe. Responding to the query, Moran explained that the company’s core focus is on emerging markets, such as India, Indonesia, and Latin America.
Future Trends: SUVs and Electric Vehicles
Moran also discussed emerging trends during the discussion, including a growing preference for SUVs and the increasing popularity of electric vehicles on the Zoomcar platform. He anticipates these trends will continue to accelerate over the next 4-5 years, driven by government initiatives and evolving consumer preferences.
Focused on Core P2P Platform
In response to whether Zoomcar would venture into ride-hailing or ride-sharing, Moran stressed the substantial opportunity in the self-drive category, with a multi-thousand crore market. He stated, “I certainly don’t see us drifting into anything new. We are a core P2P platform for self-drive, and it’s quite different from a P2P ride-hailing platform.” Zoomcar will continue to focus on its core business for the foreseeable future.