Union square and Leading partners jointly supported the start-up of the EV infrastructurewith a Series A investment of $ 4 million to fund the wide expansion of its peer-to-peer EV charging network and its Smart EV platform for two and three wheels.
The startup will use the fresh funds to deploy EV chargers across India, and further strengthen its technology team.
Over the next three years, the startup plans to expand its charging network to one million chargers in 500 cities in India and other emerging markets, and power several million two- and three-wheel electric vehicles. The startup will also aggressively hire across all functions of the company over the coming months.
Mohit Yadav, co-founder, REVOS
Why invest in an EV startup now?
Speaking of why they chose to invest in the startup now, Sanjay Swamy, Managing Partner of Prime Ventures, tells Your story,
“EV is on the cusp of the early adoption phase in India – and we all know the real opportunity will lie in electric two-wheelers. As with our experience with mobile recharging and digital payments, these are two-sided issues in which vehicles justify the presence of charging stations and conversely, charging stations justify the purchase of vehicles. We’re starting to see a lot of government subsidies and pushing OEMs to make vehicles – therefore, we think we’re at the start of something big.
Founded in 2017 by Jyotiranjan (Jyoti) Harichandan and Mohit Yadav, REVOS stands for Revolutionary EV Ooperate Snail. It is an AI-integrated IoT platform that aims to make electric vehicles smart, safe and connected.
Talk about their investment Albert Wenger, Managing Partner, Union Square Ventures said in the statement,
“Globally, we are at the start of a massive transition to electric vehicles. It is crucial for fast growing economies such as India, China and Africa to dramatically accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles. To make this possible, two enabling technologies are needed: an operating system (OS) and a charging network. We are delighted to announce our investment in REVOS, which already has several OEMs licensed to their operating system, and their BOLT charging network is growing rapidly. REVOS marks USV’s first investment in India and we are delighted to partner with Prime Venture Partners on this new journey.
What does it do?
The startup wants to be a “Android for electric vehicles”; it allows manufacturers of electric vehicles to build smart mobility features in addition to the software developed by REVOS. Since its launch in 2019, REVOS has been deployed on 10,000 devices (VE + chargers) in 30 OEMs in India, China, Vietnam, Nepal and Egypt. The company plans to launch in Europe and other parts of Southeast Asia soon.
Jyoti and Mohit were teammates at BITS Goa and have known each other for over 13 years. “We were both passionate about cycling after college and we often took bike trips together. During these trips we have encountered the problems encountered by any driver of two or three wheels – things such as heavy traffic, pollution and inability to access navigation / calls / music on the go, ”adds Mohit.
In 2017, Mohit quit his job at Adobe and Jyoti left a food delivery company to start thinking about a smarter, cleaner, and greener way to use his vehicles.
Lessons from China
After quick research on two- and three-wheelers, the duo realized that China was ahead of the world in electric vehicle adoption. The market there was different from what we now see in the traditional auto industry.
“We found that over 3,000 OEMs made EVs and the market evolved like smartphones, that is, there were many drives and hardware assemblers, but no standard operating system. Tesla also announced its Model 3 in 2017 and electric vehicles were starting to become a reality. Looking at Tesla’s offerings and EVs in general, it was clear that software was going to be a major differentiator when it comes to EVs, ”adds Mohit.
They realized that there was little to no innovation in two or three wheels compared to cars. Basic features like navigation, phone control, and music were virtually non-existent in micro-mobility.
They also observed that all advancements in vehicle software were occurring in developed countries where two- and three-wheelers are not the workhorse. So, if innovation were to occur in this sector, it would have to be driven by companies / people from emerging markets.
“That’s when we decided to create something that would dramatically improve the riding experience for these millions of riders. We believe that all technology is successful when it helps the masses. Android was a perfect example for us where an open platform that democratized technology has led to the widespread adoption of smartphones in emerging markets, ”he adds.
It took the team two years to build the operating system after several visits to China, as the country is still the market leader in the production of electric vehicles. The team has developed working relationships with major Chinese manufacturers to integrate their protocols with the operating system.
“Similar efforts have been made for Indian manufacturers now that we are looking to ‘make in India’. This massive integration exercise gives us a good head start, and quite simply, almost any component (from different manufacturers) that goes into an EV can now be integrated with minimal effort, ”says Mohit.
The team launched their OS product in January 2020 and installed it in more than 1,000 vehicles around the world. The team adds that its P2P charging network is growing even faster, with thousands of chargers in more than 60 cities across the country.
“COVID-19 has impacted our software deployment in electric vehicles, however, we have bounced back stronger with a peer-to-peer charging network added to the mix,” Mohit adds.
Today, the electric vehicle market in India is growing rapidly. Ola Electric is ready to manufacture its first batch of two million electric vehicle (EV) scooters by the end of 2021 and spearhead of India’s green revolution. There is also competition in terms of Electric ather.
“REVOS has developed amazing solutions – a very low cost peer-to-peer charging network that resembles the mobile charging network, and a very powerful operating system for electric two-wheelers which is licensed to OEMs The combination of these two products, along with their OEM partnerships and strong intellectual property, has kept this team and company coming back to us, ”said Sanjay.
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