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The potential of Indian battery startup innovations

Notes by Narsi

There's no denying that as a country, India is proving it can be as good as any other country in many spheres of economics, industry and science.

Within climate tech too, Indian startups are beginning to make a mark on the global stage with companies such as Ola Electric and Biliti beginning to take their brains and expertise outside India.

But one domain that has nagged me a bit in terms of its effective innovation potential from India is batteries.

In the last three years, I have come across a number of innovate ideas from battery startups. These range from metal air batteries to aluminium fuels & graphene based ultra-capacitors to nanomaterials based batteries

All these sound exciting no doubt, but fundamental innovations in batteries is tough business. Ask even the global leaders in batteries (Panasonic, CATL, LG Chem...) and they will tell you the same.

A good lot of global venture capital into battery based startups is flowing into companies that are making advanced versions of Li-ion batteries (the world's highest valued climate tech firm, Northvolt makes proprietary version of Li-ion batteries) or investing stationary batteries such as flow batteries which again are reasonably well established for these types of applications. There's investments beginning to flow into solid state batteries as they show signs of breaking out of the cocoon, but these are still relatively small in quantum.

Basically, investing in fundamentally new batteries carries a lot of uncertainties worldwide. No different in India. But the bet those VCs investing in Indian (or global) startups with claims of fundamental, disruptive innovations is possibly this: Even at a 10% probability it is worth it, given that batteries are going to rule the world making them a market massive.

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