Angel investment platform LetsVenture announced the launch of LetsAccelerate EV Innovation Labs on Wednesday (November 13) to identify, nurture and fund high-potential startups in the electric vehicle and green mobility space in India.
The EV accelerator will help startups get access to capital, mentors and business opportunities before going to market.
In a press statement, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, who inaugurated LetsAccelerate EV Innovation Labs said India’s EV ecosystem has come a long way and the government is looking at supporting startups working towards electric mobility in various ways.
To this end, the government will soon be pushing to set up bigger factories for battery manufacturing. In a recent special policy measure, the government slashed GST on EVs to 5% versus 28% for vehicles with internal combustion engines. It also created a INR 1.5 Lakh tax exemption for loans for EVs to encourage consumers to buy electric vehicles, in addition to the funds allocated under the FAME scheme.
Under this scheme, the government had proposed to invest INR 10,000 Cr over the next three years to support 10 Lakh two-wheelers, 5 lakh three-wheelers, 55K four-wheelers and 7K buses that operate on lithium-ion batteries.
Prajakt Raut, Managing Partner, LetsAccelerate said EV Innovation Labs will be a connecting point for different stakeholders, helping startups and innovators break into the market more swiftly. “For investors, this will be a platform to find the most high-potential startups that have been made market-ready,” he added.
Founded in 2013 by Shanti Mohan and Sanjay Jha, LetsVenture has backed 220+ startups with over INR 600 Cr in funding through the platform. In June 2019, the firm had also announced to launch a standardised framework for startups’ employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), as it believes that such a policy will help startups to attract talent from top global companies.
Through the LetsAccelerate lab, the firm has collaborated with startup ecosystem veteran Raut, the founder of Applyifi, to lead the programme as the managing partner. Previously, Raut was the head of operations at Indian Angel Network (IAN), founding member of a leading incubator, and the Asia-director for TiE.
In addition to this, a recent report by the World Economic Forum reported India having the potential to become the largest EV market in the world. The report was made in collaboration with Ola Mobility Institute, by analysing various EV policies in the country.