Indian EV startup Zypp Electric raises $25 mln in Gogoro-led round

By Praveen Paramasivam

CHENNAI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Zypp Electric said on Wednesday it has raised $25 million in a series B funding round led by Taiwanese battery-swapping service provider Gogoro Inc , as the Indian electric vehicle startup looks to expand to new cities and boost its fleet size.

The funding round marks Gogoro's latest effort to expand in India, where EVs are receiving mainstream push, having partnered with the country's top bikemaker Hero MotoCorp and the state of Maharashtra.

"Electric vehicles are what the entire (delivery) industry is looking forward to," Zypp's Chief Executive Officer Akash Gupta told Reuters.

The startup, which provides EVs for last-mile delivery for online stores, plans on using the funds to increase its fleet size to 200,000 EVs from 10,000, and expand to 30 Indian cities including Chennai and Mumbai by 2025, up from six currently.

Delivery companies in India are gearing towards cleaner mobility, with Amazon aiming to have 10,000 EVs for deliveries by 2025, while Walmart's Flipkart plans to have 25,000 EVs by 2030.

Several new and existing investors, including Goodyear Tire & Rubber's Goodyear Ventures, 9Unicorns and WFC, participated in the funding round, which comprised $20 million in equity and $5 million in debt. About $12 million in equity was from Gogoro, Zypp said.

Zypp is now valued at about six times the nearly $30 million valuation it fetched in the previous round, Gupta said, adding it is recording $20 million in annual recurring revenue and growing 20% to 25% month-on-month.

Founded in 2017, Zypp has partnered with online shopping platforms Flipkart and Myntra, food delivery service providers Zomato and Swiggy, and grocery players Zepto and Blinkit.

It also aims to grow its operations by hiring across technology and top-level positions at a time when a few Indian startups are laying off hundreds of workers to reduce expenses.

Zypp said it is looking to be profitable in the next 12-18 months. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Chennai; editing by Eileen Soreng)