Deepika Padukone-backed Blu Smart raises funding from Mumbai Angels, others
Deepika Padukone | Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Blu Smart Mobility Pvt. Ltd, an electric taxi-hailing and riding platform, has raised Rs 37 crore (nearly $5 million at current exchange rate) in a pre-Series A funding round, according to a report.

The Gurugram-based company, set up last year by Punit K Goyal, Puneet Singh Jaggi and Anmol Singh Jaggi, has raised this capital from Mumbai Angels Network, Inflection Point Ventures and LetsVenture, Entrackr reported, citing people aware of the development.

Some existing investors have also taken part in this pre-Series A exercise, as per the report. 

VCCircle has reached out to Blu Smart on the details of the fundraising and will update this report accordingly.

The fresh capital will reportedly be used for operations, car-lease deposits, and marketing purposes. The cash will also help the company streamline itself following a drop in demand owing to the economic fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This development comes almost a year after the company raised $3 million (around Rs 21.22 crore at the time) in an angel funding round from several investors including Ka Enterprises LLP, the family office of actor Deepika Padukone.

Other participants in that round included JITO Angel Network, Bajaj Capital managing director Sanjiv Bajaj and Rajat Gupta, the former managing director of management consultancy firm McKinsey.

At the time, the company said it was also in talks to raise $25 million (around Rs 177 crore) in a Series A round, and that it had appointed Centrum Capital as the adviser for the planned funding.

Blu Smart says it is focusing on building an all-electric ecosystem. During its angel funding round, the startup said it planned to bring on board 15,000 electric cars and 2,500 chargers on its ride-sharing platform by 2021.

Deals in the electric mobility segment

Apart from investor and strategic interest in the electric vehicle (EV) and mobility space, the central government also announced initiatives aimed at promoting the segment.

In her budget speech in July last year, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the government 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.

That month, ride-hailing company Ola’s electric mobility arm had raised Rs 1,725 crore (around $250 million) from Japanese investor SoftBank in a Series B funding round, with the transaction valuing Ola Electric Mobility Pvt. Ltd at around $1 billion.

In May this year, Tecso Charge Zone Pvt. Ltd, which operates electric vehicle charging startup Charge+Zone, raised capital from Mumbai Angels Network. In February, EV infrastructure-focused Racenergy Pvt. Ltd raised funding from growX Ventures and early-stage investor Prophetic Ventures.

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