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Electric vehicle startup SmartE raises $15 mn series B funding from Mitsui

Electric vehicle startup SmartE raises $15 mn series B funding from Mitsui
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The New Delhi-based Trade Mark of Treasure Vase Venture Pvt. Ltd. which runs the electric vehicle startup SmartE, has raised series B funding of Rs 100 crore (around $15 million at the current exchange rate) from  Japanse conglomerate  Mitsui & Co.

SmartE, which is based in Gurugram, will use the funds for increasing its fleet size within Delhi-NCR and other cities around the country, an official statement said.

The startup will also use the funds to ramp up its charging infrastructure network to offer plug-in vehicle charging and battery swapping solutions.

SmartE was founded in 2014 by Goldie Srivastava who had earlier worked in corporate communications, marketing and journalism.

The startup has partnered with automobile majors like Mahindra & Mahindra and Kinetic Green for ramping up operations, the statement said. It has also signed deals with energy solution providers like Panasonic, Exicom and Sun Mobility.

SmartE has signed agreements with state governments to roll out its last-mile connectivity services. For instance, it is the official last-mile connectivity partner for Delhi Metro, offering services across metro stations in Delhi, Gurgaon, and Faridabad. 

The startup has nearly 1,000 electric three-wheelers in Delhi-NCR, and it moves around 100,000 commuters daily, the statement said.

“Mitsui and SmartE share common values of sustainable business growth while creating a positive impact on the society we live in,” Srivastava said. “At SmartE, we are committed to transforming the last-mile connectivity paradigm in the country and to creating a global benchmark for electric mobility adoption.”

In early 2017, SmartE had raised its series A funding of $5 million from Singapore-based Ecotransit Investments International Pte Ltd. 

“Growing urbanisation in Delhi-NCR is driving demand for transportation, including first and last-mile services, placing a greater burden on the environment,” Shinichiro Omachi, managing director of Mitsui & Co. India said.  “We are proud to partner with SmartE, a true pioneer in the electric mobility service space, who shares our commitment to sustainable business development and alleviating pain points to improve living standards for communities.” 

Recent developments in e-vehicle space

The central government, earlier this month, said it would provide an income-tax deduction of Rs 1.5 lakh on the interest paid on loans taken to purchase electric vehicles as well as reduce Customs duty on certain parts.

This income-tax deduction amounts to a benefit of around Rs 2.5 lakh over the loan period, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said while presenting the Union Budget 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha.

Bengaluru-based mobility startup Bounce was in talks to raise $50 million for its e-vehicle push.

Earlier this month, Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd, a unit of cab-hailing major Ola, has raised $250 million (Rs 1,725 crore) from SoftBank. 

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