Turno, a first-of-its kind startup in the commercial EV segment that has been operating in stealth mode since April 2022, has announced that it has raised USD 3.1 million in new equity financing. The investment was led by Stellaris Venture Partners, along with Avaana Capital.
Within just two months of its operations, Turno has already captured 75% market share in the retail cargo 3W segment in Bangalore and has forged partnerships with leading 3W electric OEMs like Mahindra, Piaggio, Omega Seiki Mobility, Etrio and more. At the current rate of growth, Turno expects to be the largest seller of electric vehicles in the country by August 2022.
Launched in April 2022 in Bengaluru, Turno’s unique model enables the retail segment – individuals and SMEs – which constitutes 90% of commercial vehicles in India, to switch to electric vehicles. Today, Cargo EVs are already economically viable for a majority of use cases. But the retail segment, which continues to spend over 40% of their monthly earnings on diesel, has so far remained on the sidelines of the EV story. These customers have multiple unaddressed pain points – lack of trustworthy information on right EVs for their use cases, affordable financing options and a lack of clarity on resale value of EVs. Turno lowers the overall cost of ownership by 50% through its vast selection of vehicles at lowest prices, lowest down payments and interest rates, and 30% higher than market resale value guarantees to customers. Turno’s customers come from a diverse use case mix including small FMCG distributors, vegetable & fruit sellers, manufacturing units, garment distributors, water can suppliers among others.
Commenting on the investment, Hemanth Aluru, Co-Founder and CEO Turno, stated, “At Turno, we envision the future of Indian transportation to be completely electric with zero dependence on fossil fuels. Today, commercial vehicles constitute about 80-85% of the entire fuel consumption in the country and our mission is to replace all diesel miles in commercial vehicles with electric miles. We are excited to have investors, who are amongst the few to understand the nuances of EV investments and share our deep passion for accelerating India’s transition to green mobility.”
In a short span of time, Turno has attracted a world class management team from diverse backgrounds with expertise in consumer brands, new-age credit business, and battery technology. With a team of 60 people Turno has doubled its sales volumes every month since its inception. Over the next 1-2 months, the company plans to launch its operations in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, and NCR.
“Turno’s digital first approach has already disrupted the traditional offline sales channels, delivering 3x additional sales to our OEM partners. Today, we are delivering world class battery analytics and highest battery valuations to our customers. Our novel approach of developing battery technology leverages proprietary machine learning algorithms, which make our consumers part of a large consented experiment in the real world. Through this approach, we are able to build uniquely massive battery data sets creating a strategic asset for Turno. With this capital infusion, we will accelerate investments in our proprietary battery technology to lower the EV ownership costs even further.” added Sudhindra Reddy, Co-founder and COO Turno.
Arpit Maheshwari, Stellaris Venture Partners, said, “Electric Vehicles will reshape the automotive, mobility and energy industries. They are no longer part of some distant future, with the transition to electric increasingly visible with each passing day. Compared to their ICE counterparts, Commercial Electric Vehicles (CEVs) present a superior value proposition – better economics with high reliability – for fleet operators today. However, adoption has not taken off proportionately – buyers have important questions around choice, financing, and residual value. This presents a large and exciting opportunity to play the role of orchestrator in the CEV ecosystem, one that Turno is fulfilling. Sudhi and Hemanth have leveraged their strong understanding of the automotive market and the EV ecosystem to create a compelling offering for the end buyer. In a short period of time, Turno has captured significant market share and enabled many small fleet owners to go electric. We are excited to partner with them, and are confident Turno will catalyze the move to electric for many more people in the years to come.”
Shruti Srivastava, Avaana Capital, said, “As climate and sustainability investors globally, and in India, we are seeing organizations undertake commitments towards net zero goals, which includes decarbonizing their supply chains and making them more sustainable. Electrifying transport and logistics play an important part in this. Hemanth and Sudhi are seasoned operators who are catalyzing mass adoption of electric vehicles for the commercial use case through the Turno platform. We are excited about the opportunity and their ability to build a scalable, defensible and market leading business.
As part of its customer offering, Turno has launched a beta version of its customer app which provides instant feedback to customers on how their battery is performing and actively suggests changes in their vehicle usage behavior to extend the battery life. Turno has introduced tech based solutions at all major OEM dealerships for instant customer conversions. The company has also built a proprietary early warning system which leverages IoT data from connected vehicles and predicts the consumer credit performance in advance enabling bank and NBFC partners to build commercial EV loan books with confidence.
Numerous strategic angels who also invested in the company include – Vipul Parekh of Bigbasket, Jayant Paleti of Darwinbox, Lizzie Chapman and Priyamvada Sharma of Zestmoney, Dhyanesh Shah of Mosaic Wellness, Matilde Giglioof Even, Rohit Bhat of Airavat Capital, Aditya Systla of Eight Roads, Arjun Rao of Speciale Invest, Bala Parthasarathy of FreoMoney, Archit Gupta of Clear, Ashish Goel of Urban Ladder, Kunal Khattar of Advantedge and the Goenka Family Office of the Indian Express.
Turno is a disruptive, multi-tech startup focussed on converting all diesel miles into electric miles in India. Turno provides an affordable, convenient, and smart way to switch to commercial EVs. Turno guides its customers – SMEs and individuals – to select the right EVs for their needs; through Turno credit app it provides financing at lowest down payment and interest rates; through its battery tech user app, gamifiesdriver behavior to optimize battery life and guarantees a 30% higher buyback value.
About Stellaris Venture Partners
Stellaris is an early-stage tech-focused VC firm that partners with fearless founders who dream big, think differently and have an unstoppable desire to challenge the status quo. The fund works with these teams at nascent stages to help transform their ideas into resilient businesses. Stellaris does so with a team of seasoned, diverse operators and entrepreneurs who bring significant experience in building businesses, and by providing access to some of the most successful founders and professionals in India and the US.
Since inception in 2017, Stellaris has backed many market leaders such as Mamaeaerth, Whatfix, mFine, Propelld and others.
About Avaana Capital
Avaana Capital is an early to growth stage venture fund supporting future market leaders that are leveraging technology-led innovation to catalyze climate solutions and sustainability and deliver exponential returns. Avaana’s investment approach integrates four ecosystems that drive outcomes in climate and sustainability, namely Digital Innovation, Industry Linkage, Policy & Academia and Catalytic Capital. Avaana’s investments in India include Farmart, Alphavector, Coverstack, Eeki Foods, Praman and Eggoz, while Avaana’s team has invested in and supported several unicorns like Nykaa, Delhivery, Urban Company and Darwinbox.
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