Petronas, the Malaysian oil & gas major, has backed Log9, an Indian deep-tech startup in the EV battery space, through a $40Mn Series B fundraise. The start-up witnessed a mix of equity and debt raise led by Amara Raja Batteries Ltd. (a major traditional auto-battery player in India) and Petronas Ventures and saw participation from other marquee investors such as Incred Financial Services Private Ltd., Unity Small Finance Bank, Oxyzo Financial Services Private Ltd. and Western Capital Advisors Private Ltd.
Log9 is looking to use this fresh capital to increase its battery manufacturing to a 2 GWH capacity by the end of 2024 and commission India’s first fully integrated Lithium Ion Cell production line. Furthermore, over ₹100cr will be invested towards advancements in cell and battery technology stacks.
India’s Electric Vehicles industry, though still nascent and largely still comprising of two-wheeler and three-wheeler sales, is advancing quite rapidly. In terms of market size, the Indian EV market was approximated at $1.4Bn in 2021, is expected to be $2 Bn by 2023 and $7.09 Bn by 2025. And while the market does not boast of four wheeler sales like Teslas and BYDs of the world, it has rapidly adopted low-cost, high volume EV solutions — electric three wheelers for example. As a result, in terms of sheer volumes, the market is already at an inflection point, and is expected to see an even more accelerated growth.
Founder in 2015 by the trio of Dr. Akshay Singhal, Kartik Hajela and Pankaj Sharma, Log9 claims to be India’s only battery maker, that holds in-house competencies ranging from electrode materials to cell fabrication to battery packs. The company claims that its range of batteries promises to charge 9x faster, last 9x longer and offer 9x higher performance and safety, thanks to in-house R&D and battery manufacturing tech.
“As a battery technology pioneer, we foresee these investments to cement our position as a leader in the commercial EV space and to expand into stationary battery sectors such as power backup and grid storage. We will also be aggressively pursuing pilots in overseas markets over the next few quarters, with a particular focus on the tropical belt”, said Singhal, Founder and CEO at Log9.
For Petronas, the Malaysian oil & gas major that has been looking to diversify its energy business like all major traditional petrochemical players, investments through its VC arm are made specifically looking at new-energy companies.
Arni Laily, Head of PETRONAS Ventures said, “Log9’s approach to the future of energy continues to excite us and strongly aligns with the investment priorities of PETRONAS Ventures. This partnership will further enhance PETRONAS’ expansion in the new energy and green mobility sectors.”
Log9 will also use a part of this fundraise to invest in strategically relevant new-age energy companies. The investments will be focused on companies related to charging infrastructure, technology ancillaries and companies fighting climate change at large.