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YC-backed Statiq wants to bootstrap India’s EV charging network

YC-backed Statiq wants to bootstrap India’s EV charging network

Electric automobiles (EVs) are spreading all through the world. While Tesla has drawn essentially the most consideration within the United States with its luxurious and cutting-edge vehicles, EVs have gotten a mainstay in markets far-off from the environs of California.

Take India as an example. In the native mobility market, two- and three-wheel automobiles are beginning to emerge as a preferred possibility for a quickly increasing center class on the lookout for extra reasonably priced choices. EV variations are fashionable due to their decreased upkeep prices and better reliability in comparison with gasoline options.

Two-wheeled electrical scooters are a fast-growing phase of India’s mobility market.

There’s only one downside, and it’s the identical one confronted by each nation which has tried to transform from gasoline to electrical: how do you construct out the charging station community to make these automobiles usable outdoors a small vary from their storage?

It’s the basic chicken-and-egg downside. You want EVs with a purpose to generate income on charging stations, however you possibly can’t afford to construct charging stations till EVs are fashionable. Some startups have tried to construct out these networks themselves first. Perhaps essentially the most well-known instance was Better Place, an Israeli startup that raised $800 million in enterprise capital earlier than dying from destructive money move again in 2013. Tesla has tried to resolve the issue by being each the rooster and egg by making a community of Superchargers.

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That’s what makes Statiq so fascinating. The firm, based mostly within the New Delhi suburb of Gurugram, is bootstrapping an EV charging community utilizing a multi-revenue mannequin that it hopes will enable it to keep away from the monetary challenges that different charging networks have confronted. It’s within the present Y Combinator batch and might be presenting at Demo Day later this month.

Akshit Bansal and Raghav Arora, the corporate’s co-founders, labored collectively beforehand as consultants and constructed an organization for getting photographs on-line, finally reaching 50,000 month-to-month actives. They determined to make a pivot — a tough pivot actually — into EVs and particularly charging gear.

YC backed Statiq wants to bootstrap India’s EV charging network

Statiq founders Raghav Arora and Akshit Bansal. Photos through Statiq

“We felt the necessity to do one thing concerning the local weather as a result of we have been dwelling in Delhi and Delhi is likely one of the most polluted cities on the earth, and India is dwelling to lots of the polluted cities on the earth. So we wished to do one thing about it,” Bansal mentioned. As they researched the causes of air pollution, they discovered that vehicle exhaust represented a big a part of the issue regionally. They checked out options, however EV charging stations stay principally non-existent throughout the nation.

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Thus, they based Statiq in October 2019 and formally launched this previous May. They have put in greater than 150 charging stations in Delhi, Bangalore, and Mumbai and the encompassing environs.

Let’s get to the economics although, since that to me is essentially the most fascinating a part of their story. Statiq as I famous has a multi-revenue mannequin. First, finish customers purchase a subscription from Statiq to make use of the community, after which customers pay a charge per charging session. That session charge is break up between Statiq and the property proprietor, giving landlords who set up the stations an incremental income enhance.

YC backed Statiq wants to bootstrap India’s EV charging network

A Statiq charging station. Photo through Statiq

When it involves set up, Statiq has a few tips up its sleeves. First, the corporate’s charging gear — in accordance with Bansal — prices roughly a 3rd of the equal value of U.S. gear. That makes the bottom know-how cheaper to amass. From there, the corporate negotiates installations with landlords the place the landlords can pay the fastened prices of set up in change for that persevering with session cost charge.

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On high of all that, the charging stations have promoting on them, providing one other revenue stream notably in high-visibility places like procuring malls that are essential for a profitable EV charging community.

In brief, Statiq hasn’t needed to outlay capital with a purpose to put in place their charging gear — they usually have been in a position to bootstrap earlier than making use of to YC earlier this yr. Bansal mentioned the corporate had dozens of charging stations and 1000’s of paid periods on its platform earlier than becoming a member of their YC batch, and “we at the moment are rising 20% week-over-week.”

What’s subsequent? It’s all about deliberate scaling. The EV market is popping on in India, and Statiq desires to be the place these vehicles are. Bansal and his co-founder are hoping to trip the wave, persevering with to construct out essential infrastructure alongside the way in which. India’s authorities will probably proceed to assist: its accredited billions of {dollars} in incentives for EVs and for charging stations, tipping the economics even additional within the path of a clear automobile future.

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