Tiger Global, Blume back startup brings safety – and intelligence – to EVs • TechCrunch


Tiger Global’s latest investment in India is Vekmocon to bring safety and reliability along with data and health monitoring to reduce the risks of selling electric scooters in the South Asian market.

Unlike traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles that have been around for over 100 years, EVs are relatively new to the market. According to recent data shared by the Indian government, the country has over 1.3 million EVs and over 278 million non-EVs. The service cost and payback time of EV in the country is very high compared to traditional combustion engine. Many EVs in the Indian market, especially EV scooters, do not meet quality standards. In fact, some of them have been burned recently.

Vecmocon, short for Vector Motor Control, is trying to solve all of this using its core EV components and software that it sells to OEMs. The New Delhi-based start-up also offers cloud integration platforms to enable remote monitoring of operations.

“For electric vehicles to happen, the ecosystem has to happen, and that ecosystem has to be data-driven. It has to be digitally enabled for rapid evolution,” said Piyush Asati, founder and CEO of Vekmokon, in an interview with TechCrunch.

IIT Delhi student Asathi co-founded the startup in August 2016 with Shivam Wankhede and Adarshkumar B – students of IIT Delhi and Indian School of Business (ISB) respectively. The trio offered pro bono consultancy to E-Rickshaw before starting their venture. Manufacturers. This helped them realize the strong dependence of the industry on China.

“Chinese component manufacturers don’t cooperate because the ecosystem around EVs in China is fundamentally different from what it is in India. The geography is different, the use cases of how people use electric vehicles are two-wheelers, culturally, behaviorally, geographically, everything was different,” Asati said. .

All this brought them to the conclusion that while many companies are starting to build the mechanical side of things for EVs in the market, the main technological side leaves a lot to be desired.

Vecmocon offers battery management systems, vehicle intelligence modules, instrument clusters and chargers, among other components. It’s targeting light EV manufacturers that currently operate two-wheelers, three-wheelers, forklifts and electric tractors because they’re the lowest-hanging fruit, Assati said.

He believes that electric cars will take some time to enter the Indian market due to lack of physical infrastructure, even though the solutions Vekmocon manufactures are ready for four-wheelers.

The startup’s battery management systems comply with Automotive Industry Standards (AIS)-156, which the Indian government introduced last month to address EV battery fire issues, the co-founder said. Although the safety standards are yet to be binding on manufacturers.

“We have already implemented these recommendations in our previous generation and improved them further. So we are ahead in terms of safety and security,” he said.

Now you’ve got the much-needed fuel to expand.

Tiger Global led a pre-series one round of $5.2 million in VecomoCon with Bloom Ventures.

“We are impressed by Peyush, Adarshkumar and Shivam’s deep commitment and progress in solving long-term problems in the Indian EV industry, and we are excited to partner with them as they build a high-quality global automotive technology company to support the adoption of EVs,” Connie Lee, Partner, Tiger Global. , is on a prepared statement.

Funds from all equity rounds will be used to build a business around the offerings created by Vekmokon, Asati said. The startup plans to hire sales, human resources, operations and finance people in the team, and currently has 20 engineers developing various hardware and software solutions.

Vekmocon, which is currently using labs at IIT Delhi, also plans to build its in-house labs to test and market new products.

“An electric vehicle is a technologically advanced product. For many OEMs, it is difficult to develop the ability to design and perfect software and hardware components such as BMS (Battery Management System) or VIM (Vehicle Information Module). They will gain tremendously by adopting the Vecomocon platform that enables them to enter the market. Over the past 5 years, Vecomocon has built a unique capability to engineer such data complexities and deliver highly robust and secure systems,” said Arpit Agarwal, Director, Bloom Ventures.

This financial year, Vekmoco says it has around $5 million worth of orders to execute – providing touchpoints with 30,000-40,000 odd vehicles. Asati plans to produce more than 100,000 vehicles next year and reach the 500,000 milestone by 2025.

The startup has also started working with customers in the global market on a trial basis and does not want to limit its initial customers to the US, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Prior to the pre-Series A funding, Vecomcon raised $300,000 from Tessellate Tech Ventures in a strategic seed round in 2019. It also received seed funding from India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST), a mix of debt and equity.



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