IIT Madras-incubated Grinntech, a start-up set up to develop and manufacture Lithium-ion batteries for electrical vehicles (EVs), has raised $2 million from four investors, including former vice-chairman of Ashok Leyland V Sumantran and Cognizant co-founder Lakshmi Narayanan. Sumantran and Lakshmi Narayanan will be joining the company’s board and be part of the core team that will take the start-up in its transformation into commercial enterprise. The other two investors are UCALGroup and K S Manian, promoter of city-based Radiance Group, which is into real estate projects.
The fundraising comes at a time when the company is foraying into manufacturing. The firm will be manufacturing batteries for two-wheelers, cars and commercial vehicles in phased manner. The initial production will take place Chennai facility and plans to scale it up further in another two years’ time. Initially, it will cater to the domestic market and it will look at export markets in the future .
Nikhilesh Mishra and Puneet Jain, co-founders of the company said: “It was always our dream to create a technologically advanced Lithium–ion battery product-line that was built-to-cost for Indian conditions along with its production system. We are hopeful that we will catch the fast-growing wave for EV products by Indian customers.”
The company has also unveiled a range of high-tech batteries with designs customised to Indian conditions along with its proprietary, IoT- enabled BMS to power two-wheelers, three-wheelers and tractors and light vehicles. Going forward the company will also look at commercial vehicles.
Sumantran said that EVs are rapidly gaining acceptance globally and in India, and particularly so at a time when India has articulated a priority for self-reliance in critical EV technologies. In the coming years, market conditions will reward those EV battery makers that possess technological and operational competence. “Grinntech’s combination of performance, quality and economics will play an important part in that journey.”
Founded in 2013, Grinntech was incubated at IIT-Madras during 2017-2020. During the period, its technology was licensed to battery OEMs including Amara Raja and Exide.
Laxmi Narayanan said :“The future of energy is in renewable with significant potential for high growth. Digital technologies such as IoT and data analytics play a crucial role in enabling companies with newer business models to provide the much-needed connectedness, high performance and superior customer experience. It is heartening to see start-ups in India boldly embrace technology-driven solutions that can meaningfully address not just India’s challenges but also global ones.”
The company has plans to scale up the production once the products get going and will look at setting up new production facilities.
Apart from affordable, high-quality batteries that employ customisable and superior thermal management, the company anticipates EV makers and customers will soon require additional capabilities like battery performance analytics and connectivity. With the company’s innovative product range and sophisticated IoT-enabled BMS systems, the firm is ready for this future, Nikhilesh said.