Pi Beam Labs Pvt. Ltd, which builds affordable electric utility vehicles, has raised Rs 5 crore ($705,000 at current exchange rate) in a bridge funding round from state-owned natural gas distribution company GAIL (India) Ltd, according to reports.
The company, which was incubated at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, said in a YourStory report that the funding has taken the capital it has raised in 2019 to around $1 million.
Pi Beam founder and chief executive officer Visakh Sasikumar said the company will use the latest capital it has raised for expanding its product portfolio and increasing its sales operations.
The company was founded in 2013, and says it is the first electric vehicle startup in the country to offer pedal-assisted electric tricycles with onboard solar charging capacities. According to its website, some of its products include the M-03 manual tricycle and the E-03 electric tricycle.
Pi Beam says it focuses on last-mile transportation, with its products enhancing operational efficiency in the micro-mobility segment through sustainable solutions.
In April this year, the firm said it had raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A round led by Bengaluru-based early-stage investor Eagle10 Ventures, with other participants including venture capital firm Bluehill Capital and high net-worth individuals
Deals in the EV segment
There has been tremendous investor and corporate interest in the electric vehicle sector, with the central government also having announced initiatives aimed at promoting the segment to both companies and end-consumers.
In the July budget, 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 and reduce Customs duty on certain parts.
Last month, electric and autonomous tractor builder AutoNxt Automation Pvt. Ltd raised an undisclosed sum of money from the founders of SUN Mobility Pvt. Ltd: brothers Chetan and Sandeep Maini invested in the company through Virya Mobility 5.0 LLP.
Earlier that month, eBike Go, an electric two-wheeler rental startup based in Amritsar, raised $300,000 (around Rs 2.14 crore) in a funding round led by Startup Buddy, a Gurugram-based early-stage investor.
In September, electric taxi Blu Smart raised $3 million (Rs 21 crore) in an angel funding round from several investors including Ka Enterprises LLP, the family office of actor Deepika Padukone.