Mumbai-based electric tractor startup AutoNxt Automation on Friday said it has secured seed funding of Rs 6.4 crore (around $802,000) co-led by Keiretsu Forum and Virya Mobility 5.0.
The round also saw participation from angel investors including Chand Das (former CEO at ITC), Nitin Johar (CFO for IDO at Government of Ras Al Khaimah) and Suveer Sinha (India head for KKR Capstone), among others.
The startup plans to use the fresh funds to scale its research and development as well as tooling and testing of its electric tractor.
Founded by Kaustubh Dhondhe and Pankaj Goyal in 2016, AutoNxt Automation is a technology startup developing an electric autonomous tractor with their high torque electric powertrain and off-road automation technologies, as per its website.
The platform said in a statement that it is looking to roll out its pre-Series A funding round of Rs 27 crore soon.
“With this next round of funding, we will focus on our electric tractors' production readiness as well as their market introduction by the end of this year. Through the implementation of a new lease and distribution model for the AutoNxt electric - self-driving Tractor, we hope to change and redefine the agricultural tractor market. When compared to the standard tractors already on the market, the cost-saving technology reduces operational costs by up to four times. Due to our company's efforts to lead the electric vehicle market, we want to significantly cut carbon emissions not only in India but also globally” said Kaustubh Dhonde, CEO and Co-founder at AutoNxt Automation.
A joint report by IVCA-EY-Induslaw said that the Indian electric vehicle (EV) industry saw an 8x year-on-year growth in VC/PE investments, to $1.7 billion in 2021, from $181 million in 2020.
Buoyed by the industry’s prospects and the mandate to invest in clean technologies, private equity companies and venture capital funds are investing significant amounts in the Indian electric mobility space. The report added that venture capital and private equity companies have invested $666 million across 24 deals in the Indian electric mobility industry this year till June.