Lithium Urban Technologies (Lithium), which gave the country its first electric cab service, plans to expand outside Bengaluru and Delhi NCR, apart from entering other businesses in electric mobility, which are currently being piloted. To support the expansion, company plans to rope in International Finance corporation (IFC) as an equity investor.
The World Bank's investment arm is considering an equity/quasi-equity investment of up to $8 million in Lithium. The investment will be through Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares (CCPS) as part of the company's fund-raising round with additional capital being provided by other investors.
IFC's investment at this stage will provide the company with patient capital needed for the growth phase, as it explores new avenues for EV applications. In essence, IFC's provision of private institutional capital to a small company in a nascent sector would signal strong support for the adoption of EVs, and confidence in the company's management. It would also help Lithium's future equity and debt fundraising programmes.
The company was founded in 2014 by two seasoned technocrats, Sanjay Krishnan and Ashwin Mahesh, who have experience in the transport sector. Lithium currently provides corporate employee transportation service in Bengaluru and Delhi NCR through Electric Vehicles (EV), DC fast-charging infrastructure and integrated fleet management technology to companies with large employee bases and predictable travel schedules. It plans to enter other businesses in electric mobility that are currently being piloted.
The Company is headquartered in Bengaluru and has operations in Bengaluru and NCR. It plans to expand in Pune, Hyderabad, and Chennai.
Lithium has signed an agreement with the government to provide 60 electric chargers across the Delhi-NCR region for public use, for which it will get financial assistance from the government. The company now wants to add to this infrastructure and is working on partnerships with private players to achieve this end.
Lithium provides business critical corporate employee transportation (CET) to blue chip companies in Information Technology (IT) and IT enabled services (ITES) sector by providing a fleet of electric vehicle (EVs).
The company currently has a fleet of about 350 electric vehicles and is planning to expand the fleet in line with market demand.
Lithium follows an asset model under which it buys its vehicles and provides transportation services to its clients through drivers.
Lithium uses technology and EVs to provide one of the lowest per capita energy solutions for urban transportation and this is achieved through a technology enabled fleet whereby an algorithmic transport routing technique is used to optimise trip scheduling and routing. EVs are fitted with in car built telematics and cloud connectivity. Energy efficiency of the vehicle, the driving pattern of each driver, the charging requirement for each EV and the availability of each charger can be easily monitored 24x7 which helps to increase trip productivity.