Tiger Global’s latest investment in India is Vecmocona start-up building solutions to bring safety and reliability alongside intelligence and health monitoring for light electric vehicles (EVs), addressing issues limiting electric scooter sales in the South Asian market.
Unlike traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that have been around for over 100 years, EVs are fairly new to the market. The data Shared recently by the Indian government, the country has more than 1.3 million EVs, compared to more than 278 million non-EVs. The service cost and turnaround time of an EV in the country is also quite high compared to traditional combustion engine counterparts. A number of EVs, especially EV scooters, available in the Indian market are also not up to the quality standards. Some even have caught fire in the recent past.
Vecmocon, short for vector motor control, tries to solve all of this using the core EV components and software it sells to OEMs. The New Delhi-based startup also offers cloud integration platforms to enable remote diagnostics for fleet operations.
“In order for electric vehicles to be possible, its ecosystem has to take place, and that ecosystem has to be data-driven. It has to be digitally enabled for rapid evolution,” said Peeyush Asati, co-founder and CEO of Vecmocon, in an interview with londonbusinessblog.com.
IIT Kanpur alumnus Asati co-founded the startup in August 2016 with Shivam Wankhede and Adarshkumar B – alumni of IIT Delhi and Indian School of Business (ISB) respectively. manufacturers. As a result, they noticed that the industry is highly dependent on China.
“The Chinese component manufacturers are not cooperating because the EV ecosystem in China is fundamentally different than in India. The geography is diverse, the usage scenarios of how people use electric vehicles are two-wheelers, a little bit in terms of culture in terms of behavior, in terms of geography, everything was different,” Asati said.
All of this led them to conclude that while many companies have started building the mechanical side of things for EVs locally on the market, the technical core still leaves much to be desired.
Vecmocon offers battery management systems, vehicle intelligence modules, instrument clusters and chargers, among other things. It targets light EV makers that currently make two-wheelers, three-wheelers, forklifts and electric tractors, as those are the lowest-hanging fruits, Asati said.
He thinks that electric cars will take some time to enter the Indian market due to the lack of physical infrastructure, although the solutions Vecmocon makes are also ready for four-wheelers.
The co-founder said the startup’s battery management systems are compliant with Automotive Industry Standards (AIS)-156 issued by the Indian government. introduced last month to address issues with EV batteries. However, the safety standards have yet to become mandatory for manufacturers.
“We have already implemented and further improved those recommendations in our previous generation. So we are ahead in terms of safety and reliability,” he said.
Now they have secured much-needed fuel to expand.
Tiger Global along with Blume Ventures led the $5.2 million pre-Series A round in Vecmocon.
“We are impressed with the deep dedication and progress Peeyush, Adarshkumar and Shivam have made to solve long-term problems in the Indian EV industry, and we are excited to work with them in building a high-quality global automotive technology company to support the adoption of EVs,” said Connie Lee, partner, Tiger Global, in a prepared statement.
Funding from the full equity round will be used to build a business around the offering created by Vecmocon, Asati said. He noted that the startup plans to hire sales, HR, operations and finance people to its team, which currently has 20 engineers developing various hardware and software solutions.
Vecmocon, which currently uses labs at IIT Delhi, also plans to build its own labs to test and develop new offerings for the market.
“An electric vehicle is a technologically advanced product. For the larger number of OEMs, it is difficult to develop the expertise to design and perfect the software and hardware components such as BMS (Battery Management System) or VIM (Vehicle Intelligence Module). Such customers can gain hugely by leveraging the Vecmocon platform that allows them to bring high-performance vehicles to market faster. Over the past 5 years, Vecmocon has built a unique capability to engineer such data-intensive components and deliver a highly robust and secure system,” said Arpit Agarwal, director of Blume Ventures.
In this fiscal year, Vecmocon already claims to have orders of about $5 million to fulfill – putting it in contact with 30,000-40,000 foreign vehicles. Asati said the plan is to power more than 100,000 vehicles next year and reach the 500,000 milestone by 2025.
The startup also doesn’t want to limit itself to India as it has entered a pilot phase with clients in global markets and has its first clients in the US, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Prior to pre-Series A funding, Vecmocon had raised $300,000 in 2019 in a strategic seed round from Tessellate Tech Ventures. It also received seed support in a mix of debt and equity from the Indian Department of Science and Technology (DST).