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EverSource Capital Acquires Majority Stake in EV Startup Lithium Urban Technologies

EverSource Capital Acquires Majority Stake in EV Startup Lithium Urban Technologies

Though both EverSource and Lithium did not disclose the deal value, it is expected to be more than $50 Mn, sources told Inc42

With the deal, Lithium is set to become EverSource’s core platform for providing B2B e-mobility solutions across passenger and freight segments

This investment makes Lithium aim for the rollout of more than 10,000 application-specific EVs in the next 18-24 months

EverSource Capital, the manager of India’s largest climate impact funds, has announced an investment to acquire a majority stake in the Bengaluru-based electric vehicle (EV) startup Lithium Urban Technologies. 

Though both EverSource and Lithium did not disclose the deal value, it is expected to be more than $50 Mn, sources told Inc42.

With the deal, Lithium is set to become EverSource’s core platform for providing B2B e-mobility solutions across passenger and freight segments, the EV startup said.

The fresh funds would primarily be invested in enhancing the technology platform, expanding vehicle fleet, developing new vehicle platforms and rapidly expanding its pan-India charging infrastructure.

EverSource aims to build Lithium into a ‘rapidly scalable, world-class business’ that can generate superior financial returns, said Dhanpal Jhaveri, CEO of EverSource.

“We also foresee a huge synergistic benefit with our other platform, GreenCell Mobility, regarding co-development of new application-specific electric vehicles, rolling out and cross utilisation of charging and energy infrastructure,” added Jhaveri.

EverSource Capital, a product of British multinational oil and gas company BP’s joint venture with private equity firm Everstone Capital laid out plans to invest over $1 Bn in renewable energy investments through its green growth equity fund (GGEF) in 2019. 

Notably, the anchor investors in the GGEF are India’s national investments and infrastructure fund (NIIF) and the UK government. 

EverSource’s investment in Lithium comes just a few months after the company announced closing the GGEF at $741 Mn in January this year.

EverSource’s portfolio also includes Ayana Renewable Power, GreenCell Mobility, EverEnviro Resource Management, Kathari Water Management, and Radiance Renewables, as per the company website.

Knowing Lithium A Little Better

Founded in 2014, EV startup Lithium currently runs a fleet size of 2,000 vehicles and operates in over 15 cities, with Bengaluru, NCR, Hyderabad, Pune, Chennai and Mumbai being the key cities.

Lithium’s tech stack comprises fleet management, connected vehicles with charging infrastructure and demand management platform that enables its fleet of EVs to deliver 2x productivity, reduce carbon footprint and bring down the transportation costs by up to 40%, as per the startup.

This investment by EverSource makes Lithium aim for the rollout of more than 10,000 application-specific EVs in the next 18-24 months, coupled with required charging infrastructure, and provide a platform for drivers to own EVs without demand or supply-side constraints.

“Our aim is to help reduce transportation costs and operational complexity while raising the bar on transparency and employee safety along with a drastic reduction in their carbon footprint,” said Sanjay Krishnan, founder and CEO at Lithium.

Lithium reported revenue from operation of INR 53.6 Cr in FY20 versus INR 41.8 Cr as of last year, according to Tofler

However, the startup’s total loss increased to INR 21.1 Cr in the same period from a loss of INR 15.3 Cr incurred the previous fiscal year.

Bengaluru-based Ola Electric, Yulu, Delhi-based Blu Smart Mobility are some of the other big names in the EV space in today’s time.

Recent EV Updates in India

As much discussed, EV space in India is booming today like never before. With governments across the world trying to reach their decarbonisation and net-zero goals, India has also intensified its focus on establishing a domestic supply chain for clean transport and renewable energy storage.

There were reports last week that Ola Electric would receive incentives under India’s $2.4 Bn programme to boost local battery cell production after winning a tender.

Further, we saw electric vehicle-focused fintech lending startup RevFin raising INR 100 Cr in a debt financing round led by Northern Arc, LiquiLoans, UK Charity Shell Foundation, and other investors.

Also, electric commercial vehicle startup EVage raised $28 Mn in seed funding from RedBlue Capital in January.

A last years’ data report by Research and Markets said that India’s electric vehicle market size is expected to reach $152.21 Bn by 2030 and expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 94.4% from 2021 to 2030.

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