Chara, a deeptech startup, has raised $4.75 million in a pre-Series A round led by Exfinity Venture Partners.
Vietnam-based Big Capital, the venture arm of Bitexco and Log9 Materials, and existing investors Kalaari Capital and ciie.co also took part in the round.
According to the company founder and CEO of Chara, Bhaktha Keshavachar, the funds will be used for team expansion, international business development, and initial investment in the manufacturing and deploying of developed motors and controllers.
Bhaktha Keshavachar, Ravi Prasad Sharma, and Mahalingam Koushik founded Chara in November 2019 to build a scalable, cloud-controlled, and rare-earth-free platform for developing and deploying electric motors for various applications.
For two-wheelers (hub and mid-mount), three-wheelers, light commercial vehicles, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) use cases, Chara has developed motors so far. The motors and the matching controllers are expected to enter production later this year after undergoing field testing. In addition, Chara is working on projects to provide heavy-duty commercial vehicle controllers and motors.
According to Bhaktha, Chara is aiming to overcome ineffective and rare-earth-dependent practices. He said that the company makes sophisticated motors and controllers that are cost-effective, hyper-efficient, and rare-earth-free for use in EVs, HVAC systems, and other industries.
“Exfinity strongly believes that the EV story for South Asia and similar markets has to be contextualized and not replicated from the US and European markets,” said Chinnu Senthilkumar, Managing Partner, Exfinity.
“After our earlier investment in Log 9 Materials, Chara is part of our continued belief in this thesis. Chara delinks the permanent magnet supply chain dependency from China and other countries,” he said.