Exponent Energy, the electric vehicle (EV) fast-charging startup from our second fund has raised US$13 mn in a Series-A funding round led by Lightspeed. Existing institutional investors including YourNest Venture Capital, 3one4 Capital and AdvantEdge VC also participated in the round.
Exponent Energy’s business model is geared toward OEMs building commercial EVs for fleet purposes. It works with OEMs to integrate its battery pack, named e^pack, that can then be charged quickly via its network of chargers, or e^pumps.
The company recently announced its first partnership with Altigreen, an Indian electric cargo vehicle manufacturer, launching the Exponent-enabled Altigreen neEV HD, a three-wheeler that can be fully charged – from 0% to 100%, in 15 minutes.
The launch of the partnership can be seen below:
Miko Acquires Square Off
Miko announced a 70% stake in Square Off, an AI-driven automated board games startup. With this acquisition, Miko will expand its product line beyond AI robot companions. Miko robots and Square Off smart board games will soon communicate, with Miko robots taking on the role of instructors that teach children to play chess and other board games. You can read more about the acquisition here.
Miko has also launched its Disney collaboration, available to customers in more than 140 countries. The funky little robot can now play animated story books with stories featuring stars from ‘Moana’, ‘Frozen’, ‘The Lion King’, ‘Toy Story’, ‘Big Hero 6’, ‘Coco’ and a host of other well-loved stories. “Bringing the imaginative worlds of Disney and Pixar to our platform represents a big step in kids robotics” said Sneh Vaswani, Miko co-founder and CEO.
Miko has also released a delightful new TV campaign in the US.
Wiom Achieves US$ 1 mn ARR
Wiom, a Fund III investment, is India’s first and largest PDOA, a new class of Internet delivery players. It provides affordable and unlimited Internet to lower- and middle-income households with data packages starting from as low as INR 5 per day. The company’s journey began in January this year when it launched Wiom in two small neighbourhoods in New Delhi; it now has over 10,000 connections across four neighbourhoods, and recorded a US$ 1 mn ARR.
VTION Publishes a Podcast Advertising Effectiveness Study
A proprietary study by VTION – also a Fund III investment – highlights the strong growth of podcast listening in India and the effectiveness of podcast advertising to drive brand and product recall. The report surveyed 354 VTION panellists and according to the study, on an average audio content consumers in India listen to podcasts three to four times per week. In metro cities this rate is even greater, with 70% of respondents listening to podcasts every week and 30% listening daily. You can view the study here.
YourNest Wins Major HR Awards
In other news, at a ceremony in Mumbai on 30 September, W.E.-Matter – an international HR Consulting firm – announced three Global Employees Choice awards for YourNest: