Pi Beam Labs Pvt. Ltd, a startup that makes electric utility vehicles, said it has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A round led by Bengaluru-based early-stage investor Eagle10 Ventures and joined by venture capital firm Bluehill Capital and high net worth individuals (HNIs).
The company plans to deploy the capital to ramp up sales, expand team and launch new product development initiatives, said Visakh Sasikumar, chief executive officer and founder of Pi Beam.
Pi Beam claims to be India’s first electric vehicle startup to offer pedal-assisted electric tricycles with onboard solar charging for goods and passenger movement. The intelligent torque management system provides motor assistance automatically as a user pedals.
Pi Beam vehicles are currently available in three variants: Manual, electric and scooter. The firm is now exploring products in the electric-rickshaw, electric-cart and electric-auto segments.
Pi Beam was founded in 2013 by Sasikumar and initially incubated at IIT Madras. In 2015, Jacob Thekkekara, an IIT Madras alumnus like Sasikumar, joined the startup as chief technology officer. Sasikumar said he was also designated a co-founder at the time though this wasn’t formally reflected in the company’s incorporation documents. Thekkekara left the company in February this year.
Before the latest funding round, the startup had raised a seed round from members of Keiretsu forum, a global angel investor network.
Pramod D’Souza, co-founder of Eagle10 Ventures, said, “Pi Beam offers unique and utility-focused electric vehicle products for last-mile delivery of goods and passenger commute.”
Deals in electric-mobility space
A number of other startups have also forayed into the electric-vehicle segment and have raised funding from investors.
- October 2018: Mumbai-based electric-vehicle startup Strom Motors, run by E14 Technologies Pvt. Ltd, raised an undisclosed amount of angel funding from Indian Angel Network (IAN).
- September 2018: Engineering company Greaves Cotton agreed to acquire a majority stake in electric two-wheeler maker Ampere Vehicles.
- September 2018: TVS Motors made an additional investment of Rs 6 crore in electric bike maker Ultraviolette Automotive.
- July 2018: Hero MotoCorp Ltd invested Rs 130 crore ($19 million) more in electric-scooter startup Ather Energy Pvt. Ltd.