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BP Increases Stake In India’s EV-Only Cab Service BluSmart

BluSmart Mobility, an Indian EV-only ride-hailing startup, has raised $42 million. Investors include BP Ventures, the investment arm of the British oil and gas company BP. The funds will strengthen BluSmart’s presence in India and more than double the fleet. 

The announcement is in line with earlier plans updated in June 2022. At the time, BluSmart Mobility signed a deal with Tata Motors for options to buy 10,000 electric cars, namely the T EV sedan from Tata’s EV brand Expres. 

Unlike its competitors in India, Uber and Ola, BluSmart is betting on an EV-only fleet from the get-go. Moreover, the company does not require drivers to own the cars. Instead, they can sign up and pick up the vehicles at the company’s charging stations. BluSmart also started to look into electric-car manufacturing with partner GenSol Engineering Ltd. according to local media. 

Anmol Singh Jaggi, the co-founder and CEO of BluSmart, said the company was building “a large-scale integrated EV mobility ecosystem in India – from the country’s largest fully-electric ride-hailing service to the largest network of EV charging super hubs”. 

These hubs can charge up to 100 cars in parallel, Jaggi specifies in the video accompanying the announcement. He added the ambitious target of having hubs every 5 kilometres in the operational areas. Note Tata’s EV has relatively small batteries (16.5 kWh and 21.5 kWh) for 213km and 165km in range (ARAI). 

The company has yet to specify the number of chargers they have. However, today’s funding news also included a strategic agreement with Geo BP to become an infrastructure partner. 

The $42 mn raised today will also help the company get on track, increasing the fleet to 10,000 EVs and to enter more markets beyond Delhi and Bangalore, where they currently operate. 

Headquartered in Gurgaon outside New Delhi, BluSmart was established in December 2019. It raised $109 million across its seed and Series A rounds, already led by BP Ventures. The company says it was BP’s first-ever direct investment in India. After the round announced today, BP holds 20% equity in BluSmart. 

The company is valued at $250 million, and Jaggi told Bloomberg News that the four founders also participated in the current round. 

Jaggi added that the strategy seems to work as the company’s revenue has tripled in the last three quarters, according to the funding announcement. 

Mayfield India Fund, 9Unicorns, Survam Partners, and other existing investors also backed the funding round.