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BP Ventures makes first direct investment in India
BP Ventures has made its first direct investment in India, investing $13mn in integrated electric vehicle (EV) ride-hailing and charging company BluSmart. The company led a $25mn Series A round that also saw support from Mayfield India Fund, 9Unicorns and Survam Partners, alongside other existing investors.
BluSmart will use the capital to expand its fleet of EVs and charging stations from its home city of Delhi to five additional Indian cities in the next two years.
BluSmart is India’s first and largest integrated EV ride-hailing and charging company, and aims to deliver safer, cleaner and more sustainable mobility. It is reported to be the first service of its kind with no surge pricing or rides rejected by drivers. The company claims to remove the financial burden of vehicle ownership by leasing vehicles to drivers and oversees all vehicle maintenance, to help reduce driver stress.
India is now the third-largest start-up market globally and its GDP is projected to be the world’s third largest by 2030. Yet with 35 of the top 50 most polluted cities globally, there’s a huge need for low carbon technologies to help make that growth compatible with its climate ambitions, notes BP.
Urbanisation is also increasing rapidly, with the UN projecting that India’s urban population size will nearly double from 2018 to 2050, potentially creating further congestion and environmental challenges that electric ride-hailing can help play a part in improving.
The industry is forecast to grow significantly, with mobility as a service (MaaS) projected to make up 15% of the 1.1tn km to be travelled by passenger vehicles in India by 2030, compared to 5% of the 477bn km travelled today.