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Exclusive: Chalo in talks to acquire Ola-backed Vogo

Business as usual seems to be back for mobility startups after the blows dealt by the pandemic. The last two-quarters of the ongoing fiscal (FY22) have signalled this, as well as the movement on the fundraising front, with Ola, Ola Electric, Rapido, BluSmart, Zoomcar and Chalo raising fresh rounds. 

The space also saw some consolidation with Mumbai-based public transport technology firm Chalo acquiring Toyota backed Shuttl late last month and Drivezy’s potential acquisition by Yamaha in June this year.

Chalo now appears close to acquiring another company: late-stage talks are on to acquire scooter rental firm Vogo, according to two people aware of the deal. 

“The two firms have been engaged in conversation for past three months and the terms of the deal were finalised two weeks ago,” said one of the sources requesting anonymity. “It’s likely to be an all-stock deal with a little cash component.”

Entrackr couldn’t ascertain the size of the deal. However, Vogo had faced a 42% haircut in its valuation when it raised $11.5 million from existing investors in February this year. Existing investors Lightrock, Kalaari and Matrix Partners invested at a discounted share price of Rs 6,683.75 per share, regulatory filings show. 

According to Fintrackr’s estimate, Vogo was valued at $64 million or Rs 480 crore (post-money) in the extended Series C round as compared to its valuation of $110 million in January 2020 during its Series C round

The six-year-old company has raised around $40 million in total capital from Lightrock, Kalaari, Matrix, Ola, Stellaris and Sachin Bansal among others.

Queries sent to Vogo and Chalo’s co-founders didn’t elicit any immediate response. We will update the story in case they respond.

Caveat: The terms of the deal may change at the last moment.

This is the second acquisition for Chalo in the past few weeks. The company took over Toyota-backed Shuttl’s intellectual property rights in an undisclosed sum. It provides a passenger information system (PIS), mobile ticketing platform and tap-to-pay contactless card. For operators, Chal offers full stack tech solutions to manage ops.

Vogo directly competes with Bounce which recently entered into electric vehicle manufacturing with the acquisition of 22 Motors. Entrackr had exclusively reported the acquisition on October 7. Two-wheeler mobility companies have been early adopters of electric options. 

Besides Bounce, Ola is looking to change the shared mobility landscape with the inclusion of Ola Electric’s scooters in its bike-taxi fleet. 

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