International Battery Company, a startup focused on developing lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles (EVs), has successfully raised $35 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by RTP Global. The startup, founded in 2022 by Priyadarshi Panda, is gearing up to bridge the demand-supply gap in the expanding EV market in India. The recent funding precedes a larger round, with the startup aiming to raise approximately $70 million, as confirmed by reliable sources.
India currently boasts over 3.5 million EVs, primarily dominated by electric two-wheelers and a modest share of four-wheelers, e-rickshaws, three-wheelers, and electric buses. Despite this, the EV market’s significance is expected to surge due to regulatory initiatives and incentives for manufacturers. With a vision to capitalize on this transition, International Battery Company is strategically positioned to cater to the demand for EV batteries, particularly in the Indian market.
The startup’s emphasis lies in rectifying the existing challenges related to imported EV batteries, predominantly from China, which have raised concerns regarding safety and sustainability. International Battery Company aims to address these issues by providing locally designed and manufactured lithium-ion battery cells that align with Indian conditions, ensuring safety, durability, and efficient performance.
Priyadarshi Panda, CEO of International Battery Company, highlighted the substantial demand in the Indian market, which is currently met through imports. The startup seeks to actively participate in this transformative journey by establishing local manufacturing capabilities. The company specializes in producing large-sized rechargeable Prismatic Li-ion Nickel Manganese Cobalt (NMC) batteries, specifically targeting the small mobility sector, including two- and three-wheelers, light commercial vehicles (LCV), and farm and industry equipment.
The startup conducts research and development in Silicon Valley and operates a 50MWh capacity manufacturing plant in South Korea. The facility produces Li-ion cells tailored for the Indian market, addressing challenges related to high temperatures, fast-charging capabilities, and extended lifecycles. With a 7- to 10-year warranty, the company received certification from India’s standard body, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), in December, allowing it to commence sales of EV battery cells in the country.
International Battery Company has further solidified its commitment to India by signing a memorandum of understanding with the government of Karnataka to build a 10GWh facility in Bengaluru by 2028. The startup plans to initiate its local manufacturing endeavors with a 2GWh facility in Karnataka by 2025. Priyadarshi Panda, drawing on his extensive experience and industry expertise, aims to secure additional funding through a Series A round of approximately $70 million to execute the ambitious plans of building a gigafactory in India. The startup is proactively engaging with potential partners to facilitate the execution of its India gigafactory plans, leveraging the additional funding for development and improvement initiatives, including the implementation of data systems with AI and ML algorithms to enhance yield.