GreenCell Receives $55 Mn Debt Funding From ADB, AIIB For 255 Electric Buses

GreenCell Receives $55 Mn Debt Funding From ADB, AIIB For 255 Electric Buses


While grants worth $5.2 Mn were received from Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg-backed CIDF, endowment of $325K was received from the CTF

The electric mobility startup will largely use the debt financing towards the development of 255 electric battery-powered buses

Backed by EverSource Capital, GreenCell Express plans to operate the 255 electric buses on 56 intercity routes to cater to 5 Mn people a year

Shared electric mobility startup GreenCell Express has signed a $55 Mn (INR 450.6 Cr) financing deal with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and Clean Technology Fund (CTF). 

The startup also received grants worth $5.2 Mn (INR 42.6 Cr) from Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg-backed Climate Innovation and Development Fund (CIDF). In addition, GreenCell also received endowments of $325K (INR 2.66 Cr) from the CTF. 

The debt financing will largely go towards the development of 255 electric battery-powered buses. On the other hand, the CIDF grants will partially finance the decarbonisation of 100 of the 255 ebuses via deployment of solar and battery-powered energy storage systems.

In a statement, the startup said that the 255 ebuses will operate on 56 intercity routes and will cater to 5 Mn people a year. The buses will also have multiple in-built safety features, targeted specifically at women, including cameras, tracking and panic buttons.

The project intends to reduce emissions of around 15,000 tons every year.

“Electrifying transportation is a key driver of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in our cities. This funding accelerates our agenda of promoting and investing in clean and sustainable businesses in India to achieve India’s climate objectives and Sustainable Development Goals,” said EverSource Capital’s managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Dhanpal Jhaveri. 

EverSource Capital is a private equity firm that manages the country’s largest climate impact funds. The PE firm is also the promoter of GreenCell Mobility, the parent company of GreenCell Express. 

Speaking on the announcement, GreenCell Mobility’s chief operating officer and director of finance Sumit Mittal said, “This financing package is more than an investment in GreenCell Mobility; It is an investment in a greener, safer and thus more sustainable future for India. We welcome it as an endorsement of our efforts to become a leading pan-India shared electric mobility player as part of India’s strong push for electrification of transportation…”

Founded in 2019, GreenCell Mobility is an electric mobility player that manufactures electric buses. The Mumbai-based startup plans to build, what it calls, an electric mobility-as-a-service (eMaaS) platform by deploying charging infrastructure and enabling products for the emobility value chain.

The startup is currently implementing nearly 1,400 electric bus projects across multiple states including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, New Delhi and Madhya Pradesh. GreenCell has already operationalised 600+ ebuses across 21 cities in the country. 

GreenCell claims to be the first private transport company in India to receive the grant, adding that it is also the world’s first private sector transport project categorised under ADB’s ‘Category I: Gender Equity Theme.’

This comes amidst a renewed investor interest in climatetech and cleantech startups in the country. Led partly by government subsidies and production linked incentives, the industry has been witnessing a massive boom. As the Indian government races to achieve its decarbonisation and net-zero goals, it has also ramped up focus on developing a strong supply chain to scale up cell production and deployment of new technologies. 

Last week, EV startup MoEVing raised $2.5 Mn in Series A funding from venture capital fund JSW Ventures. Close on the heels of that, another two-wheeler mobility startup BattRE raised an undisclosed seed funding from a group of investors led by Agility Ventures.

In November itself, Ratan Tata-backed Electra EV secured about $25 Mn from GEF Capital’s South Asia Growth Fund II. In October, New Delhi-based Euler Motors raised $60 Mn in a Series C funding round led by Singapore’s sovereign fund GIC. EMotorad also bagged INR 24 Cr in Pre-Series A funding round led by a clutch of investors last month. 

According to a report, the homegrown EV market was pegged at $383.5 Mn in 2021. The market is slated to grow to $152.21 Bn space by 2027.

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