Chargeup, battery swapping network for e-rickshaws founded by Varun Goenka and Akshay Kashyap in 2019, has raised an undisclosed amount in its ongoing Pre-Series A funding. The funding round was led by MapmyIndia with participation from a group of HNIs.
The money raised will be used as investment in marketing for customer acquisition and building the tech stack. Chargeup has adopted an advanced technology driven approach to offer Battery as a Service (BaaS) solutions to e-rickshaw drivers.
Battery swapping eliminates range anxiety and eliminates the need for buying or managing batteries as the swapping service provider takes care of these needs.
From two stations at the outset, the company has grown to 18 stations catering to 500+ drivers daily. The company is clocking 9,000 swaps per month and has covered 3.5 million km on its platform since inception, it claims.
Varun Goenka, CEO and Co-founder, Chargeup, “ The funding support from HNIs is also a major boost to our offerings. With a strong grip on the execution of this business, Chargeup works on a Capex light and Opex light model thus making it fast scalable.”
The nationwide COVID-19 lockdown negatively impacted the demand of swappable batteries from the drivers due to reduced mobility of e-rickshaws. Chargeup sought to turn this situation over by creating a demand for drivers in the transportation sector.
According to estimates by Mordor Intelligence, the Indian Electric Vehicle Market was valued at $5 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $47 billion by 2026 registering a CAGR of above 44 percent during the forecast period (2021 - 2026). The Indian government plans to convert about 30 percent of all passenger vehicles to EVs by 2030 under FAME-II (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles-II) initiative. Removing battery cost from the equation can make EVs cheaper by up to 40 percent and make them affordable for fleet owners.