BatteryPool, which offers battery charging solutions for EV fleets and commercial vehicles, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth capital as part of its seed funding round. The round was led by Indian Angel Network (IAN) and Pune-based Venture Center under the NIDHI-Seed Support Scheme, and saw participation from lead investors including Arjun Seth and Harshavardhan Chitale.
Previously, the Pune-based startup had raised grants from the Department of Science and Technology (GoI) and an angel round along with the 100X.VC investment.
The freshly infused capital will be utilized for scaling up BatteryPool’s business development efforts and adding new fleet charging products to its portfolio.
Govt push towards EVs spurs startup
Having earned degrees in electrical engineering from Purdue University, and later from Stanford University, founder Ashwin Shankar moved back to India. For a year, he spent working at a technology policy think tank, where he explored technology and innovation in the automotive industry. During the same period, there was an increase in the awareness about EVs following the Government of India’s announcement to go all-electric by 2030. With all the learnings, experiences, and skill sets that he gathered over the years, Shankar founded BatteryPool in 2018.
Shankar bought a fleet of 20 EVs and two-wheelers and deployed them with small businesses and delivery boys in Pune. Running this fleet for a year, the team identified the problems faced in running EV fleet operations first hand. From vehicles running out of charge in the middle of deliveries to drivers not being able to locate charge points when they wanted to recharge their battery packs, there were existing bottlenecks.
Smart battery-swapping station
BatteryPool is solving these challenges via its flagship product - a smart battery-swapping station for fleet and commercial EVs. The swapping station is battery agnostic and software-enabled allowing fleets and commercial EV drivers to swap their batteries and eliminate any downtime caused by charging their vehicles. The startup has some of the largest two- and three-wheeler EV fleets as its customers, it said in a press release.
Ashwin Shankar, Founder, BatteryPool said, “We identified that while EVs made sense commercially, challenges around battery charging can lead to downtime of commercial and fleet electric vehicles. Battery swapping can serve as a viable option to eliminate this downtime. However, existing battery swapping services require fleet operators and drivers to conform to a certain battery standard and this can be expensive and significantly restrict the fleet operations to where these services are being offered. Therefore, we built hardware that is agnostic to battery type and can be used by fleet operators regardless of the battery standards being used in their fleets. Our key focus is to cater to EV fleet operators and commercial electric vehicles via partnerships with OEMs, and battery pack manufacturers.”
Arjun Seth, Lead Investor at IAN said, "The EV ecosystem in India is evolving rapidly. The use case of going electric is well-known as running costs for fleet operators contract. By 2030, the fleet and commercial vehicle charging market size is set to reach $2.7 billion, as these will become electrified. BatteryPool is walking on a path to capture a huge opportunity with India witnessing a rapid shift to electric mobility in the 2 and 3 wheeler segment, which is where EV adoption will see tremendous velocity. We will offer our proprietary software and hardware solutions and embrace a collaborative platform as we build on our partnerships with OEMs and fleet operators."
Recently, BatteryPool signed large contracts/POs with one of India’s largest e-rickshaw fleets. The startup is also planning to introduce Smart Plug-In chargers for fleet/commercial EVs without swappable battery packs in the near future.