Delhi-based electric taxi startup Blu Smart has raised angel funding of $3 million from Deepika Padukone’s family office Ka Enterprises, JITO Angel Network, Kalpavriksh Trust, Survam Partners, cofounder of Micromax Rajesh Agarwal, and the MD of Bajaj Capital Sanjiv Bajaj among other investors.
Deepika has reportedly been an active investor in startups. The Bollywood actress had earlier pumped funds in Drums Food makers of Epigamia brand yogurt, and Bellatrix Aerospace, a space technology startup, apart from co-owning private apparel label All About You with Myntra.
The company, co-founded by Puneet Singh Jaggi and Punit K Goyal, was launched in January 2019 as an electric cab-hailing platform. In June, the firm pivoted to offer subscription-based car rentals, ride-sharing on both electric cars and bikes and shared the EV charging infrastructure all across Delhi NCR region.
“Blu Smart has served over 20,000 customers since its launch in Delhi NCR and aims to serve 1 million customers in the coming months.”
Blu Smart’s Plan of Action
Blu Smart has also been in discussions to raise $25 million in a Series A round by early 2020 and has Centrum Capital appointed as an advisor. The firm plans to use the funding to scale up operations across Delhi-NCR, Pune, Mumbai, and Hyderabad, as it prepares to launch its all-electric smart urban mobility services in Singapore and Hong Kong by the end of 2020. Furthermore, the startup would be expanding its electric fleet to 500 cars by November 2019 across Delhi-NCR and Mumbai, making it the most massive all-electric business-to-customer ride-sharing firm in India and among the top three in Asia.
Moreover, Padukone’s Ka Enterprises-backed firm said in a press statement that it plans to onboard 15K electric cars, 2500 chargers on its all-electric ride-sharing platform by 2021. The firm claims to be setting up DC fast-charging stations at Blu Smart Hubs and onboarding charging stations being set up by public and private firms. The Blu Smart Charge Network claims to add 100 smart-charging stations across all technologies including Bharat Charge, CCS and CHAdeMO.
The Blu Smart service will be competing not only with ride-hailing majors like Ola and Uber but also with car rental platforms like Zoomcar and Drivezy.
The Indian government aims for a 305 EV penetration in the market by 2030, under its NEMMP ( National Electric Mobility Mission Plan). Complementary to these plans, NITI Aayog earlier recommended that all pool companies would transition to EVs from the next year to achieve 2.5%, 5%, 10% electrification by 2021, 2022, 2023 respectively before hiking to 40% by April 2026.