Oye! Rickshaw, which is an Electric mobility start-up plans to invest up to USD 500 million (over Rs 3,700 crore) in the next three years to set up battery swapping infrastructure for electric three-wheelers across India. It is backed by investors such as Matrix Partners, Chiratae Ventures, Xiaomi and industrialist Pawan Munjal, and will be putting in close to USD 20-30 million between this year and the next to accelerate its battery swapping business.
The company had set a target of deploying 10,000 lithium-ion batteries by the end of this year but due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the plans have been impacted. It is now looking at deploying 6,500 lithium-ion batteries across 5,000 vehicles.
Oye! Rickshaw CEO and Co-Founder Mohit Sharma said – “Talking about the next three years, we are going to invest somewhere close to (USD) 400 to 500 million. That’s a big number as it seems but yes, that sort of investment is going to go in… and talking about a short term view, means this year or maybe next year, we are going to invest close to USD 20 to 30 million. By December 2021, most of our fleet is going to be on swap…Our plan is to double up our supply in the next five or six months…So these amount to about 6,500 batteries needed to be purchased. Right now we are sufficiently capitalised…also, the economics are working well for us. So, we are not into that cash burning game. We are very efficient in that sense but at the same time growing like 30 per cent month-on-month. I think the growth rate is fine with improving economics and for the next round, we are not immediately looking for funds.”
Bullish on the market for its business, Mr. Sharma said the potential is huge with millions of users and it will further grow with covid vaccinations increasing and people responding well.
Oye! Rickshaw claims that it has over 13 lakh registered users with 91 lakh rides and 51 lakh deliveries completed. Last year, the company had raised USD 12 million.