Chara Tech has built motors for use in two-wheeler, three and four-wheeler light commercial vehicles and in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) sector.
Their web site claims that theirs is a "(Switch) Reluctance motors and controllers developed from first principles for efficiency, performance and sustainability."
The startup's technology has done away with rare earth magnets, resulting in both lower costs and lower dependence on imports - especaially rare earth mineral imports from China.
An interesting deep tech startup indeed.
Funding from its existing investors including Sequoia.
That's so interesting! A firm gets reported for laying off tens of employees the first day, and the very next day there is news of it raising additional funding.
Is such funding to get the startup to a growth phase or give itself enough time to search for a tolerable exit?
Funding round led by Nuveen, the Chicago-headquartered asset manager and Dare Ventures, the VC arm of Coromandel International
The startup develops solutions for motor controls and energy storage with a focus on the agricultural sector. To begin with, it was mainly around solar water pumps.
What is interesting is to note is how it has leverage its focus for water pumps to go on to build other products that the same customer segment requires, notably its solar-based cold storage solution.
Funding is a mix of debt and equity. Funds to be used for finetuning their cell R&D as well as expand their tech for battery applications beyond electric vehicles to stationary storage
Log9 is one of the prominent deep tech battery startups, having put in over seven years of effort in getting a fast charging battery portfolio - for 2w, 3w and for cars. Chemistries based on both LTO and LFP.
With dozens of patents in tow, the startup seems to be really gearing to cater to the fast growing Indian electric mobility ecosystem.
Had one the three founders - Kartik Haleja - at the CLIMAFIX Summit 2022 and pretty impressed with the focus and perseverance these guys have shown in their determination to be avant garde rather than an also-ran.
The fund will invest in Pre-Seed and Series A tech-enabled startups working in edtech, healthtech, agritech, medtech and cleantech sectors
The fund has a network of more angel investors, HNIs and VCs across India, Singapore, Dubai, the US and the UK.
Similar to what many other AIFs offer, they have an in-house evaluation/curation mechanism for startup identification and a syndicate to share risks and diversify investment portfolios.
How well can such funds do justice in evaluation/curation when they invest in multiple sectors is something that needs to be seen over the next few years.
Funding from US based Social Investment Managers and Advisors (SIMA) under the Energy Access Relief Fund (EARF) supported by the World Bank, DFC, BII, FMO, IFC
It is a rather interesting startup - one of the very few offering retail products in solar & storage, and an assembler of these products to boot.
Follows a typical B2C model, operating in 500+ districts with 300-+ resellers.
Wonder who their dominant customers are - are these B2C solar EPCs (including those offering offgrid products), end users themselves, quasi EPCs like electrical service providers?
SAEL's business model is to use crop residues as fuel in waste-to-energy projects
All right, this is not exactly a startup, not at least in the sense most of us understand startups.
But the reason to include it here is because it shows how many renewable energy developers are showing increasing interest in biomass energy, in addition to the evergreen favourite solar power plants. Now, such an interest could well augur a significant growth of startups in the overall bio-energy sector - be it in the upstream sector (agri-waste collection, briquetting, torrefaction...) or in domains such as agri waste to bio-CNG.
The report also claims it is in talks to raise a further $250 million
BluSmart is on a roll, literally. Kudos to the team.
Interestingly however, in many of their recent PR, they seem to be stressing customer service, few or no cancellations/cancellation fees etc., which have nothing to do with being electric, and perhaps have more to do with their overall business model - one in which they lease or own the vehicles.
Seed funding round led by Hermin Shah, Director of Collabera USA, and Sudhakar Moparthy, Director of Skillbanc USA
Not clear what the differentiation is for this startup. Either we will get to know that later, or perhaps this is an investment based more on the skills on the founders and the overall opportunity in the EV 2w and 3w ecosystem in India
Fast charging battery that can saafely withstand the harsh Indian conditions
While there are many claims made about the advanced tech in its batteries, one can wonder how investors are confident about these claims given that some of these are deep tech, and even battery experts (which investors are not) cannot be.
The answer could lie in the founders' backgrounds. One of the founders of the startups has PhD in high density batteries, and the other, a Masters in Material Science.
The investor logic in such cases could well be: With such backgrounds, they really can't be totally wrong!
Varaha helps farmers follow regenerative agricultural practices by creating monetizable carbon credits
The startup accelerates regenerative agricultural practices at small holder farms by creating carbon credits that enhance farmer incomes. Their platform quantifies greenhouse gases (GHG), verifies carbon credits, and makes them saleable.
Regenerative farming is a potent weapon against global warming, anything that can make this practice widespread is worth investing. Also glad to see investors taking deeper looks into avenues such as these, beyond energy storage & electric vehicles!
Proprietary battery tech addresses EV safety and performance issues - battery fires, long charging times and battery lifecycle
The key component in the tech seems to be the "direct liquid cooling technology" that is claimed to ensure maximum safety from fires, sub 30-min fast charging & a 1.5x longer life span.
Buyofuel is an online biofuel marketplace with a large supply base of quality assured-biofuels and fuel consumers.
The biofuels that the marketplace handles currently are: Biodiesel, bio-lubricant, biomass briquettes, used cooking oil & acid oil, though one suspects that biomass briquettes would form a very large part of the overall transactions
Offers battery swapping solutions to logistics and last mile mobility players.
Esmito is an IIT Madras incubated startup, which was co-developed by the Centre for Battery Engineering and Electric Vehicle (CBEEV).
The startup offers a portfolio of swap starions, batteries, charging infra along with a suite of SaaS services that ties together and enhances the efficiency of its offerings.
Having known Prabhjot Kaur, one of the founders, right from the startup's inception, it is indeed satisfying to see them reach this stage, after going through a process of quick trials and using results from these projects to finetune their strategy and offerings.
Forming a new entity Yulu Energy with Magna International, which led the funding
Yulu’s single seat two-wheelers, a familiar sight in Delhi, Bengaluru & Mumbai, can be hired for short durations using its mobile application.
The startup plans to increase the number of electric 2 wheelers to over 1 lakh with the funding.
I had met Amit Gupta, its co-founder, a couple of years back in Delhi. He was already a bit of a celeb in the startup world, having been a key player in the success of inMobi. Found him to quite accessible, though very focussed on stuff that mattered - the sort of qualities that are just about what are needed to scale business, I guess.
Startup enables EV and battery manufacturers to incorporate in their products with precise geolocation and cellular connectivity, efficient and fast charging, effortless battery swapping, warranty and service management.
Specifically, the startup develops battery management systems, motor controllers, vehicle control units, telematics, battery chargers, and web & mobile spps for EVs.
While a number of Indian EV startups are developing BMS and related solutions, I have not come across too many that are providing such a comprehensive suite of solutions for the battery makers and EV OEMs.
One challenge startups such as these could face is to crack the big OEMs or battery players. While smaller firms making batteries or EVs would rather work with dedicated tech players such as these, would large firms like Hero or TVS or Exide have their own solutions? This could also apply to some of the more prominent battery pack makers (some of them are startups themselves) who might want to build their own competencies in these.
Startup currently operates a 250 MWh battery pack operating faciilty
Startups such as Cygni might not be doing anything fundamentally disruptive, but being led by seasoned industry professionals could perhaps be their strongest asset.
I have known the founder Venkat Rajaraman for over a decade, and his breadth of experience gained over decades in energy storage and UPS is likely to stand the startup in good stead.
Oorja Energy develops tech that combines machine learning & physics to help auto OEMs optimize battery packs
The startup states that its tech is a faster and highly accurate approach for heat and capacity fade prediction in batteries, areas that are important for performance and safety.
Essentially, they are applying a math/simulation inferface over battery cell data to predict battery vital statistics. An interesting plug and play approach, just wondering how difficult it would be for BMS startups to do something similar as they are in proximate spaces.
The startup Multi Nano Sense Technologies will manufacture hydrogen sensors indigenously
For decarbonization avenues, most startups and investors will be fixated on opportunities in the core solution - electrolyzer, electric scooters or solar panels, for instance.
But there will be parallel growth opportunities in many support sectors - with some of them more attractive for investors than the core solutions themselves.
The solution being developed by this startup is an example of an interesting support solution for the green hydrogen ecosystem.
Funds to be used for expanding charging network in multiple cities
From what I read on their web site, the startup has come up with a unique technology/BMS to manage the impedance in the cells during charging, which it claims facilitates fast charging.
Startup offers a motion-free tracking solution for solar panels to increase the overall yield of the solar power plant.
The company's solution is a unique embedded glass design that is applied on top of solar panels.
Renkube is one of the few Indian companies that have come up with original innovations in the world of solar photovoltaics. If they are able to validate their tech at scale, this could be a startup to watch.
Funding round was led by Anicut Capital and co-led by Rocketship.vc and Speciale Invest
The news items lists close to fifteen entities as investors participating in a...seed round. Sounds more like Kickstarter than a conventional investment!
Amount of funding undisclosed, startup also getting into a strategic partnership with the investor.
Orxa builds long-range, robust electric motorcycles.
I had met the co-founder Ranjitha Ravi a couple of times. A highly passionate youngster, and perhaps just the type needed to accelerate the electric motorbike (not scooter) segment in India
Investment led by US entrepreneur Chris Sacca's Lowercarbon Capital.
So, it appears these guys are working in an interesting niche within electric scooters - targetting entrepreneurs/SMEs and folks who would like their scooters also to carry delivery loads...so basically a scooter doubling up as a delivery vehicle...
Well, this (carrying deliveries on two wheelers) is already happening in India in a big way as we all can see. These guys perhaps have an excellent product-market fit.
Circulate Capital, in partnership with Pepsi, P&G and Unilever, commits to invest half its Circulate Capital Ocean Fund into India.
One of the Indian startups it has invested in is Lucro, which specialises in converting difficult-to-manage post-consumer flexible plastic packaging into granules and high-value end products. This company uses its prorprietary technology to recycle post consumer plastic waste into granules for a circular economy. Interestingly, Lucro has also collaborated with a blockchain-based platform to tracks every aspect of irs waste management value chain.
Startup, which enables brands to offset CO2, plans to use the fresh capital to deploy more integration with brands in fashion, food, travel, beauty and personal care
This idea will resonate with most of us - for every purchase we make, there is a carbon offset made somewhere. So, every purchase leads to a climate action.
Cool, it is. But is it powerful? I'm not sure because, in my opinion, carbon offsets are themselves a debatable solution in the fight against climate change.
To use it for expanding its footprint across India
Residential rooftop solar is tough - and possibly a thankless - business for small players and startups.
So it is indeed surprising to see a startup have this as one of its focus segments. Perhaps it has figured out ways by which to scale the residential rooftop segment without breaking the bank.
What stands out in the positioning of Solar Square is its strong focus on customer service, in the form of continuous guidance and post-installation support - offerings the residential segment might really vaue.
To be used to expand footprint and scale up nutrition science, food waste supplier platform capabilities.
The startup's aspiration is to upcycle about 1 million tons of food waste a year by about 2025.
Given that about 70 million tons of food is wasted in India annually, a million tons per year might not sound like a big deal, but I think it is significant - because this is the aspiration of just one startup, and within a few years of its inception.
Also, upcycling food waste is a more productive pathway compared to converting it to fertilizers or biogas. Most constituents of any biomass are worth much more than energy. The challenge lies in recovering this value.
Acquisition to help Arya.ag boost its AI, ML capabilities for farm digitization, crop monitoring, quality assaying and surveillance
I see this as an example in which agri tech, from being focussed on predominantly farm yields and efficiency, is beginning to integrate more tools to measure, report and control the carbon footprint of ag operations.
The ride-sharing platform solves last-mile connectivity problems.
Hala is basically an electric scooter renting platform, with a lot of automation around the service to make it easy for people to rent an electric scooter - basically a few clicks is all that is needed.
This model has been quite a hit in many western countries, though what they call a scooter is quite different from the scooters Indians are used to.
Along with their popularity came chaos. Some of you would have heard about the chaos the electric "scooter" rental model created in many cities worldwide, with scooters being dropped off in a disorderly manner, creating signfiicant inconveniece to the public. Let's hope these challenges will be managed better by Indian electric scooter rental startups.
Carbon Clean aims to scale its technology for heavy industry
Carbon capture is perhaps the only short term decarbonization option left for some of the hard to abate heavy industries, and it makes sense for Carbon Clean to focus on this segment, as much as it makes sense for investors to put in their money for such efforts.
By the way, this is the largest ever funding round for a point source carbon capture company. Bravo!
Carbon capture is tough business, trust me. I had been in touch off and on with Anirudh, one of the co-founders, right from the early days of Carbon Clean.. It is really inspiring to see he and his co-founder persevering through with their startup for almost a decade.
Startup has developed crop-specific models for irrigation, nutrients, diseases, pests, and weather management for each physiological stage.
There is little doubt that precision and smart farming are powerful drivers for sustainable and low carbon agriculture.
From a startup perspective, this field now has a number of startups headed by bright founders. It is not clear how well these startups are able to differentiate their solutions from the rest as most offerings and benefits I come across appear to be quite similar.
Challenge for differentiation, while a challenge, can also be an opportunity. Those startups that deep dive into the critical needs of the farming ecosystem will be able to come with up powerful and sustainable differentiators. Arriving at these differentiators could thus take a while, but it is absolutely worth it
Omnivore is a VC platform with an agritech focus
Omnivore is an interesting fund with a big focus on the bio-economy ecosystem.
Earlier this year, the fund had also launched the OmniX Bio initiative to provide support to targetting the fields of agricultural biotechnology, novel farming systems, bioenergy, biomaterials, innovative foods including alternative protein.
Given that the government of India targets a massive $300 billion bio-economy for India by 2030, these guys seem to be bang on target.
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