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Exclusive: 1Crowd tops up investment in cold chain technology startup Tessol

Exclusive: 1Crowd tops up investment in cold chain technology startup Tessol
Rajat Gupta, founder and CEO of Tessol
3 Dec, 2019
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Tessol Energy Service Solutions, a Mumbai-based cleantech startup that provides thermal energy-based cold chain technology solutions, has raised an undisclosed sum in a funding round from crowdfunding platform 1Crowd. A group of angel investors, whose identities were not disclosed, participated in the round.

The latest capital infusion will be used primarily to enhance the startup’s technology and product capabilities, besides bankrolling its pilot projects, Tessol founder and CEO Rajat Gupta told TechCircle.

This is Mumbai-based 1Crowd’s second round of investment in Tessol. In July last year, it participated in a bridge round along with the startup’s existing investors.

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In November 2016, venture capital investors Infuse Ventures and Ankur Capital had deployed an undisclosed sum in Tessol’s Series A funding round. It also had received an undisclosed sum as seed investment from Infuse Ventures in 2014.

With the latest infusion, the startup has raised about Rs 12 crore, or $1.6 million at current foreign exchange rates, so far, Gupta said.

Tessol was founded in 2013 by Gupta, an Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and Harvard University alumnus. Prior to starting Tessol, Gupta was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Infuse Ventures. The Ahmedabad-based venture capital firm focuses on sustainability-related investments. 

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Tessol provides energy-efficient and fuel-saving refrigeration and logistics technologies for cold chain storage. From full truck to home delivery solutions, the startup offers customized solutions for last mile distribution and delivery to retailers and end consumers. Its thermal energy-based storage solutions have applications across sectors such as dairy, seafood, confectionery, and poultry, among others.

It offers a plug and play technology solution that runs on proprietary thermal batteries and chargers. It is vehicle independent and does not depend on fuel. The batteries are charged from a regular power point for 5-6 hours and maintain desired temperatures for 10-12 hours, the startup claims. It also provides a battery swap range intended for capacities less than one tonne to a five litre box. It is applicable for fresh, frozen and chilled applications and is used for tertiary and home delivery applications.

On top of these cold chain logistics solutions, the startup provides an asset management platform that works across devices to monitor and manage the asset classes ranging from cold rooms to vehicles to last mile boxes.

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Its clientele include Vadilal, Godrej Tyson Foods, Grofers, More, Amazon, Amul and Delhivery.

1Crowd, operated by Zeva Capsol, was founded in May 2015 by Anil Gudibande, Amit Arvind Ratanpal, Anup Kuruvilla and Natasha Shah Kothari. It connects investors with early stage startups. It also co-invests in startups that raise money through its platform.

Its angel investors include Ganesh Natarajan, chairman, 5F World; Aniruddha Malpani, an IVF (in vitro fertilisation) specialist; and Krishnakumar Natarajan, co-founder, Mindtree. Other angel investors on the platform include MA Ravi Kumar, former CEO, American India Foundation; Venkat Srinivasan, a serial entrepreneur based in Boston; and Vivek Sharma, CEO of a pharma services company based in Boston.

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Launched as an equity crowdfunding platform, 1Crowd marked the first close of its debut angel fund at $3.5 million in March this year. The fund, which is registered with markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), has a target corpus of $11.5 million including a greenshoe option of $3.5 million. The fund co-invests with the equity crowdfunding platform.