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The Transformer: Arun Vinayak, Co-founder and CEO, Exponent Energy Arun Vinayak founded Exponent Energy with an aim to solve one of the biggest probelms in the EV industy: Long charging time, lack of dense charging infrastructure and short battery life

By Shrabona Ghosh

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From building the first vehicle at the age of 16 to graduating with a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT, mobility has been a passion for Arun Vinayak, Co-founder and CEO, Exponent Energy. "During my academic tenure, I observed that India rarely developed hardware technology and the emergence of EVs would change the status quo," said the CEO.

Post his graduation, he joined Ather Energy in 2013-14 as its founding partner and chief product officer. Back then, EVs were not considered a desirable, high-performance mode of mobility. "Our primary objective at Ather was to change this perception and demonstrate the potential of EVs. Over seven years, I helped build India's first vertically integrated electric 2W ecosystem. During this time, I spearheaded the development of Ather's flagship product electric scooter, 450X, which is the highest-selling e-scooters," he said.

During 2019-2020, there was a notable shift in consumer attitude towards EVs. People realized that the driving experience of EVs was at par with ICE vehicles, if not better. However, the problem was now on the energy side - long charging time, lack of dense charging infrastructure and short battery life. "We believed that by fixing the broken energy system from both the battery and the charging side, we could unlock 15-minute rapid charging while ensuring a 3,000 battery life cycle warranty using regular Li-ion cells. This triggered us to start Exponent and it's been a journey of simplifying energy for EVs ever since," he said, explaining his eureka moment that led him to startup.

The startup is yet to attain break-even and is running at INR 30 crore ARR and aiming to hit INR 600 crore in revenue by 2025. "We are also targeting to deploy 1,000 e^pumps and 25,000 EVs powered by Exponent, by 2025," the CEO said, sharing insights into growth plans.

In the year 2023, Exponent moved from the lab to the road enabling customers to rapidly charge their EVs daily, using its proprietary energy stack. The year started with the launch of the first e-3 Wheeler powered by Exponent called neEV Tez, in partnership with Altigreen. "Our 15-minute rapid charging technology excelled in Bengaluru ensuring seamless consumer experience." The year ended with Exponent raising $26.4 Million in a Series B round led by Eight Roads Ventures, including a strategic investment from TDK Ventures – marking their first investments in India's EV sector.

Fact Sheet

Age as on February 1, 2024: 32

No. of co-founders: Arun Vinayak, Co-Founder & CEO, Exponent Energy; Sanjay Byalal, Co-founder & COO, Exponent Energy

Number of employees: 180+ employees

Year of inception of the company: 2020

External Investors:Eight Roads Ventures, Lightspeed, TDK Ventures, YourNest VC, 3one4 Capital, AdvantEdge VC, and the family office of Dr. Pawan Munjal, Executive Chairman, Hero MotoCorp.

Shrabona Ghosh

Correspondent

A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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