EV Startup Simple Energy In Talks To Raise $15 Mn In Series A Round
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Bengaluru-based EV startup Simple Energy is in talks to raise a Series A round worth $15 million by the third quarter of this year. The 2019-found startup is expected to raise the funds from Venture Capital based in India and New York.
In an interaction with Entrepreneur India, Suhas Rajkumar, founder and chief executive officer of Simple Energy, confirmed the same. The startup is raising this fund to scale its operations and build synergies with investors.
On being asked about the specific details about the funding, Rajkumar said the startup plans to use the funds primarily to strengthen its production unit and plan the phase-1 production effectively as 60 per cent of the funds shall be used for the factory. The company will also strengthen both its R&D and production team.
The startup will also deploy its charging network across their first launch city Bangalore and set up its first flagship experience center.
The launch of its flagship e-scooter Mark 2 is scheduled in the mid of this year with pre-bookings beginning from the launch day itself, and deliveries will follow soon. The startup aims to produce and sell 50,000 units in the first 12 months of the launch.
Rajkumar, who comes from an architecture background, had three other startups before founding Simple Energy in 2019. He said the main reason that compelled him to create Simple Energy was to overcome several pain points of EV customers, one being fear of running out of battery. However, receiving investment in his early days was difficult as investors were skeptical about the EV market in India. However, Rajkumar met Shreshth Mishra who was hesitant about Rajkumar’s idea but ended up investing in it. He has now become the co-founder of the startup.
Rajkumar said, “Simple Energy is a startup that builds smarter electric vehicle scooters that can travel long distances before you even need to worry about charging. It can charge in mere minutes by outpacing today's IC engines in both efficiency and power.”
At present the startup is ready with Mark-1 prototype and has been receiving a lot of queries from the target audience over social media.
Mark-2, that is scheduled to launch in the coming months, will have a 4.8 kWh lithium-ion battery, a claimed range of 240 km in eco mode, top speed of 100kmph, and 0-50 kilometers per hour acceleration in 3.6 seconds. Other key features will include a mid-drive motor along with a removable battery. It also comes with smart features like a touch screen, on-board navigation, Bluetooth, among others. The e-scooter will be priced between INR 1,10,000 to INR 1,20,000.
Testing of Mark 2
Simple Energy directly competes against Tarun Mehta-led Ather Energy which has aggressively setup multiple showrooms in the country in past few months.
When asked about the EV industry in the country, Rajkumar said, “The EV industry is at a very nascent stage. It will not see the magic in developing overnight as there are a lot of key areas that need time to improve.” Calling Tesla’s entry in India as a positive one Rajkumar said such an entry will bring the “right focus” in the sector and bring more investment as well as enhance infrastructure such as charging stations.
Rajkumar would look forward to collaborating with Elon Musk-led Tesla in future.