India's thrust towards clean mobility may have come late but it has come strong with a number of product launches over the course of past several months as well as a push from the Government to encourage both manufacturers as well as buyers towards electric vehicles. At a time when pollution levels in many Indian cities repeatedly make the headlines, the obvious environmental benefit is just one of the several advantages linked to electric mobility and this is precisely where Micelio is planning to act as a catalyst.
Micelio was established in January of 2019 with the aim of encouraging startups working in the electric vehicle space in India. It has a $18 million fund that is the country's first seed-fund aimed entirely at clean mobility. Started by Shreyas Shibulal, a graduate from Haverford College in Philadelphia who has also interned at Tesla, Micelio is headquartered in Bengaluru. "The idea is to invest in exceptional and innovative startups in the EV ecosystem," says Shibulal, son of Infosys co-founder SD Shibulal. "The Micelio Fund will make seed investments in companies which are coming up in the electric mobility business."
Shibulal feels the need to accelerate India's push towards electric mobility is now and that a number of startups are working in creative yet practical ways to address issues very specific to the country. This is not just in terms of final products but also for component manufacturing which is currently - and largely - based in China.
What the industry feels and its needs in the current times are also equally important, says Shibulal. "Last-mile delivery space is very important. We have over 1,000 EVs in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Chennai which are operational in verticals such as e-commerce, grocery delivery and courier service under Lightning Logistics," he says. Lightning Logistics is a B2B logisitcs firm founded by Shibulal who says the main idea is to study data such as operational and cost efficiency of EVs.
At a time when the move towards electric vehicles is gathering momentum, the push from startups could prove to be crucial. And providing support to capable startups with the potential is where Micelio could well prove to be a vital game-changer.