Grip Invest, a digital platform for facilitating new-age investments, on Thursday said it has signed a USD 2 million lease financing deal with Battery Smart for electric vehicles. Through this deal, Grip Invest plans to lease 4,000 batteries for e-rickshaws, enabling the battery network provider to leverage an asset-light business model and save operational costs, a statement said.
Operationalised in June 2020, Battery Smart claims to be building the country’s largest network of battery swapping stations for electric two- and three-wheelers. It operates 160 live stations across Delhi, Gurugram and Noida. The drivers can stop at any of the company’s partner swapping stations and get a fully charged battery against a discharged battery in under 2 minutes on a subscription basis, as per the statement.
Electric auto-rickshaws and e-two-wheelers have emerged as promising segments, estimated at over 4 million units in the next five years, said Vivek Gulati, co-founder and COO, Grip Invest. “Battery Smart has made significant progress in resolving charging-related challenges for e-rickshaws and electric two-wheelers in India. “By introducing asset-light models, Battery Smart can increase commute hours and facilitate greater adoption of e-rickshaws and commercial two-wheelers across urban as well as rural areas,” Gulati said.
Grip Invest said it has so far enabled 15 domestic EV players to unlock the next growth phase. The platform has facilitated leasing of assets worth over Rs 125 crore and enabled over 60 companies to access a different channel of growth capital, it added. “Having Grip onboard will help us scale to five other cities, while continuing to stay asset-light,” said Pulkit Khurana, co-founder, Battery Smart.
Khurana said his platform recently completed 5 lakh swaps and is witnessing tremendous demand. “We’ve grown more than 15X in the past six months and currently service over 2000 e-two and three-wheelers daily,” he added.