Exponent Energy, an electric vehicle charging tech start-up, has got $5 million (Rs 37 crore) in pre-series A round of funding from existing investors YourNest VC; 3one4 Capital, AdvantEdge VC and new participation from Tier 1 supplier Motherson Group.
Bangalore-based Exponent Energy, an energy solutions start-up, has announced the development of a battery pack and charging station called E-pack and E-pump respectively. Using the solution together will enable a zero to 100% rapid charge within 15 minutes for commercial vehicles with any number of wheels, all while using affordable lithium-ion cells and delivering a 3,000 cycle life warranty. The company says it will introduce the rapid charging solution in January 2022.
The company, founded by Arun Vinayak, founding partner and ex-CPO of Ather Energy, envisions building a flexible energy stack to enable a seamless flow of energy and information between the grid and vehicle to unlock a bunch of products.
Arun Vinayak, co-founder and CEO, Exponent Energy said, “We’re excited to deepen our partnership with our existing investors who’ve watched us build from scratch. Motherson coming on board adds immense value to scale with respect to OEM relationships and manufacturing partnerships. Given the demand witnessed for our rapid charging technology in the logistics space, we prioritised closing the pre-series A to enter the market by early 2022.”
The company will use the funds raised to begin commercial operations and scale it across multiple cities starting with Bangalore from early 2022; hire across product and engineering teams to ensure their products enter production, build out a robust deployment team for smooth operations and double down on its software products to create a seamless customer experience.
The start-up says at present EVs take anywhere between 4-8 hours to charge with batteries that last around 1,000 cycles, creating a broken energy ecosystem. Long charge times lead to poor charging station utilisation, making them unprofitable as a business, and leading to a scarce network presence. Slow charging leads to larger unoptimised batteries to combat range anxiety, making the vehicle bulky and expensive. A short battery life drives battery pack financing sky-high further adding pressure to the end-consumer and hampering EV adoption.
Laksh Vaaman Sehgal, vice-chairman, Motherson Group: “Motherson has been known as a pioneer in the auto component industry having scaled globally by partnering with leading OEM’s. As the auto industry adopts EVs, we want to remain a key player and partnering with startups like Exponent gives us a head start to be able to build offerings that help us to continue to expand and achieve our broader vision.”
Sunil Goyal, MD, YourNest VC: "Wide-scale adoption of EVs will be limited due to the prolonged charging hours and restricted charging infrastructure. Exponent Energy has developed the much-needed proprietary rapid charging battery and infrastructure technology to provide a seamless and rapid charging experience of ‘recharge like you refuel’. With this round of investment, the company plans to enter and become a dominant player in the market to make our world sustainable."
Pranav Pai, founding partner, 3one4 Capital: “The Exponent team has combined their deep insights from the EV and energy distribution systems in India with core IP innovation to solve a long-standing challenge through a disruptive yet elemental set of modalities. With the radical reforms that are being rolled out in the country, this technology will be a natural enabler of India's shift into sustainable energy and mobility infrastructure. We are tremendously excited by the possibilities of the Exponent Energy stack, and we are looking forward to working with them to scale this vital value proposition.”
Kunal Khattar, founder, AdvantEdge: “As EV adoption takes off across the world, we see the growing importance of rapid charging to see large-scale adoption across larger form factors like commercial vehicles and buses.”