Grinntech raises funds, launches new range of EV batteries

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on August 27, 2020

From left: Lakshmi Narayanan, co-founder, Cognizant; Nikhilesh Mishra, Co-founder and CEO, Grinntech; Puneet Jain, Co-Founder and COO, Grinntech; and V Sumantran, former Vice-Chairman, Ashok Leyland

Secures about $2 million from four new investors

Grinntech, a start-up specialising in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage systems, on Thursday announced three major developments — new fund-raising, commercial market entry and launch of new batteries.

The seven-year-old start-up founded by IIT-Madras graduates has secured about $2 million in funding from four new investors including V Sumantran, former Vice-Chairman, Ashok Leyland, and V Lakshmi Narayanan, Co-Founder, Cognizant. Both Narayanana and Sumantran will be part of Grinntech Board.

Co-founders Nikhilesh Mishra (CEO) and Puneet Jain (COO) have a majority stake, while a few others have some minority holding in the company.

Announcing the expansion, Mishra said that with the launch of the new range of lithium-ion batteries, the company was graduating from an IIT-Madras-incubated start-up to a funded commercial enterprise to tap the opportunities arising out of rapid adoption of EVs.

The four new batteries, which carry unique designs customised to Indian conditions along with its proprietary, IoT-enabled BMS (battery management system), are meant for electric two-wheelers, three-wheelers and tractors/light vehicles.

EV adoption

Sumantran said he’s on the Board of Grinntech at a time when adoption EVs are accelerating both in India and other geographies. “Grinntech works on a core objective of achieving self-reliance in EV technologies. Since we have edge over China in software and technology, there will be opportunities for Grinntech to serve Western markets besides meeting domestic needs.”

Grinntech is now setting up a modular type of battery manufacturing unit near Chennai. “In addition to our new R&D and manufacturing facility in Chennai, we are exploring a couple of options for a larger manufacturing location to scale up our production capacity,” said Jain.

Cognizant’s Narayanan termed his investment in Grinntech as a wonderful opportunity to learn and contribute. “The founders, the teams assembled and the advisors for consulting are highly innovative and technology-driven to come out with innovative solutions like the new batteries they have just launched. It’s a complex technology, but the two founders made it simpler with their full commitment to the development of this technology after their graduation,” he said.

Grinntech will initially be targeting auto OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and EV fleet customers to sell the new range of batteries.

Published on August 27, 2020

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