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Commercial EV startup Turno comes out of stealth mode; raises USD 3.1 million

Bengaluru-based start-up Turno which has been operating in the commercial EV segment 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.  

According to a company release, Turno has already captured a 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. 

Pain points Turno aspires to address

The retail segment (individuals and SMEs) constitutes 90% of commercial vehicles in India. 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 the right EVs for their use cases

– affordable financing options

– a lack of clarity on the resale value of EVs.

Turno lowers the overall cost of ownership by 50% through its vast selection of vehicles at the 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, and water can suppliers among others – said a company release.

What does Turno do?

Turno provides a way to switch to commercial EVs through three solutions:

Turno Club – Guides SMEs and individuals to select the right EVs for their needs

Turno Credit App – Provides financing at low down payment and interest rates

Battery Tech User App – Gamifies driver behaviour to optimize battery life and guarantees a 30% higher buyback value

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 behaviour 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. 

Commenting on the investment, Hemanth Aluru, Co-Founder and CEO of 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.”  

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 the 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

Alongside Stellaris Venture Partners and Avaana Capital, 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 Giglio of Even, Rohit Bhat of Airavat Capital, Aditya Systla of Eight Roads, Arjun Rao of Speciale Invest, Bala Parthasarathy of Freo Money, Archit Gupta of Clear, Ashish Goel of Urban Ladder, Kunal Khattar of Advantedge and the Goenka Family Office of the Indian Express.

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