EV charging start-up Charge+Zone raises $3 million in pre-series A funding

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on November 12, 2020

Looks to expand charging stations by next year

Building up on the momentum around electro-mobility market, Vadodara-based Tecso Charge Zone Pvt Ltd (Charge+Zone) has raised ₹22.4 crore (approx $3 million) in a pre-Series A round of funding to set up electric charging stations across cities in India.

Lead investors including Mumbai Angels, Keiretsu Forum, and Ramakrishnan Family Office participated in the funding round, which was led by start-up incubator and accelerator Venture Catalysts. In May, the company also raised an undisclosed sum in funding from Mumbai Angels.

Tecso Charge Zone, which has been operational since 2018, has so far set up 116 charging stations across 7 cities in different States and now looks to have 250 charging stations across 22 cities in 10 States by next year.

“Currently, we are present in Delhi, Gurugram, Noida, Ahmedabad, Pune, Mumbai and Hyderabad. At our 116 charging stations, put together we serve 500 vehicles on daily basis including about 50 buses and 450 cars across these locations. We have observed that the EV adoption in metros is catching up at a much faster rate and the demand for charging infrastructure is more than what we can cater to,” Kartikey Hariyani CEO and Founder, told Businessline.

It has launched a mobile app - CHARGE+ZONE providing EV drivers a one-stop solution to locate charging points, pre-book charging slots, payment through QR code, downloading invoices, knowledge of the charging connector, and easy navigation to the charging point.

“This is a fully-transactional integrated app with the platform. We have brought a model of unmanned charging, which is unique in the market. Looking at the unit economics and social distancing requirements, our effort is to provide contact-less service,” he added.

Besides setting up independent charging stations, Charge+Zone is also engaging with civic transport bodies in cities, to manage EV charging stations for city bus transport. It is already providing service for Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, while it will soon tie-up with Patna’s city transport service.

The competing factor in the EV charging infrastructure business, Hariyani believes, will be the cost and the experience to the user by leverage on the technology.

“India is a price sensitive market especially the mobility segment. Our entire focus is on being cost-competitive,” he added.

Company is using a mix of conventional and renewable energy to offer competitive cost to the customers. “We use power from the grid as well as from local integration of solar roof tops on the charging stations,” he said.

The company was incubated at CrAdLE incubator. The Centre for Advancing and Launching Enterprises is hosted by EDII is a technology business incubator, supported and catalysed by The National Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board, The Department of Science & Technology.

Published on November 12, 2020

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