Exponent Energy, a Bengaluru-based energy tech startup specialising in rapid 15-minute charging for electric vehicles (EVs), has successfully secured INR 220 Crores (approximately $26.4 million) in its Series B funding round. The funding, led by Eight Roads Ventures—a Fidelity-backed venture capital firm—also saw participation from TDK Ventures and existing investors, including Lightspeed, YourNest VC, 3one4 Capital, AdvantEdge VC, and the family office of Dr. Pawan Munjal, executive chairman at Hero MotoCorp.
Exponent Energy Strategic Focus on Manufacturing and Business Operations
In an interview, Arun Vinayak, the Co-founder and CEO of Exponent Energy, expressed the startup’s focus on reinforcing its manufacturing and business operations after achieving product-market fit. Initially catering to the three-wheeler cargo segment, the company plans to expand its offerings to include three-wheeler passenger services and enter the intercity bus market by 2024, leveraging the same battery technology and network.
Technological Advancements and Expansion Plans
Vinayak highlighted that Exponent Energy’s battery tech for three-wheelers has progressed past the product development stage, while the technology for electric buses (ebus) remains in the research and development phase. The fresh funding infusion is earmarked to accelerate R&D efforts for ebus technology and bring the product to market.
Founded in 2020 by former Ather Energy executives Arun Vinayak and Sanjay Byalal, Exponent Energy aimed to address long charging hours for EVs across segments by building a tech enablement platform for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). The startup’s charging station, named ‘e^pump,’ incorporates innovative features such as transferring refrigerated water through its charging connector, ‘e^plug,’ to prevent overheating during the rapid charging of its battery packs, known as ‘e^packs.’ Currently, Exponent Energy operates 30 charging stations in Bengaluru.
Geographical Expansion and Cumulative Funding
Looking ahead, the company plans to increase installations of ‘e^pump’ in Bengaluru and expand its presence to five other cities—Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and Ahmedabad—in 2024. Including the recent funding, Exponent Energy has cumulatively raised $44.4 million.
Inaugural Investment in India’s EV Sector
This investment in Exponent Energy represents the maiden foray of TDK Ventures and Eight Roads Ventures into India’s EV sector. The collaboration between Exponent Energy and TDK Ventures aims to reduce the cost structure of rapid charging technology, aligning with the shared vision of expanding rapid charging accessibility for electric mobility at a reasonable cost.
Investor Perspectives and Market Dynamics
Aditya Systla, Partner at Eight Roads Ventures, emphasized the surge in EV adoption in India and developments in the three-wheeler cargo space as key factors driving their investment. The macro-level growth in the commercial vehicle segment towards electric adoption, driven by factors like improved product quality, lower total cost of ownership, and government subsidies, further solidified Eight Roads Ventures’ decision to invest in Exponent Energy’s battery-centric approach.
Systla highlighted that the firm chose a battery play over a specific OEM, emphasizing the belief that rapid charging is the pivotal factor driving large-scale EV penetration in commercial vehicles. He also noted Exponent Energy’s differentiated solution, offering rapid charging in 15 minutes and a high battery life warranty of 3,000 cycles for its EV batteries.
Future Plans and Commitment to Sustainability
With plans to expand its manufacturing facility in Bengaluru and increase the number of charging stations to 100 by March next year, Exponent Energy remains committed to its goal of serving 25,000 EVs and achieving a revenue of approximately INR 600 Crores by 2025.
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