Battery Smart raises Undisclosed Seed Round from Orios Venture Partners

Battery Smart, which is building India's largest network of EV-battery swapping stations for three-wheeled E-rickshaws, has announced the closure of seed round led by early stage VC firm, Orios Venture Partners. While the quantum of the investment remained undisclosed, the round also saw participation from Faad Network, an Angel investment platform.

Battery Smart was founded in 2020 by IIT Kanpur alumni, Pulkit Khurana and Siddharth Sikka. The company wants to build an ‘Uberise’ infrastructure for the E-Rickshaw market in India, which happen to be the largest number of electric vehicles on the Indian roads yet. The company provides Li-ion batteries to e-rickshaws on a membership basis where the driver can stop at any of the company’s partner swapping stations and get a fully charged battery against a discharged battery and be back on the road to continue their business.

“The earnings of E-Rickshaw drivers is capped as they use lead acid batteries that need 10 hours of charging time and have a limited battery life of 6 months. With Battery Smart, we plan to change that. Now, they will have access to a retrofittable Li-ion battery-as-a-service solution that provides them with a ‘two-minute’ battery swapping facility. We are addressing the issue of range anxiety associated with EVs, reducing the downtime of E-rickshaws to zero and effectively doubling their daily earning,” said Pulkit Khurana and Siddharth Sikka, co-founders, Battery Smart.

Battery Smart has already created 25 operational battery swap stations in Delhi carrying over 1000 battery swaps every week on its network. The company aims to set up a battery swapping station in every square km by opening 300 battery swapping stations in Delhi-NCR by the year end and onboard 5,000 E-rickshaw drivers on its platform in the next 10 months.

The startup has developed an integrated B2B technology platform over IOT to manage its network and monitor the utilization and health of the batteries in real-time.

Speaking about the investment, Anup Jain, Managing Partner, Orios Venture Partners, said, “Sometimes we forget, we already have 2.5Mn EVs in India and that EV is the ubiquitous E-rickshaw! Battery -smart team is opening up 3X capacity for these E-rickshaws. This is a revolution in mobility for the masses and will change the face of short distance commuting in India.”

The current market opportunity for Li-ion battery swapping of e-rickshaws is $2.25 billion (growing at 16% CAGR). The projected market opportunity for Li-ion battery swapping of electric 2W in India is $6 billion (by 2024).