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EV Powertrain startup ‘Abhinava Rizel’ secures investment up to US$ 25M from MM Forgings

Chennai-based Abhinava Rizel Private Limited has secured an investment from MM Forgings Limited (MMF) for an 88% equity stake on a fully diluted basis. On an aggregate basis, MMF expects to invest close to Rs.200 crores (US$ 25mn) in this initiative. The company is currently partnering with automotive manufacturers in India, and the new investment by MMF will be utilized to establish its initial manufacturing facility in Oragadam, Tamil Nadu. As a part of the deal, the start-up has restructured itself from “Rizel Automotive Pvt Ltd” to “Abhinava Rizel Pvt Ltd”.

The founders of Abhinava Rizel, BVN Madhu, Karthik Donthula and Shivam Bhatia (alumni of SRM Institute of Science and Technology) have been jointly developing EV motor and powertrain technologies since 2017. As a result of the team’s work, Abhinava Rizel has 8 patents filed and an additional 10 patents under filing in respect of EV motor and powertrain technologies.

Backed by industry expert Mr KRA Nair (Angel Investor & Advisor), SRMIST Kattankulathur, NSRCEL IIM Bangalore, T-Hub Hyderabad, Startup TN, etc., the team at Abhinava Rizel has developed EV motors based on a proprietary hybrid topology radial flux architecture between SynRM (Synchronous Reluctance Motors) and PMSM (Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motors), combining the best of both worlds. Together with this combined capability and the well-developed thermal management techniques, thermal efficiencies achieved are around 25% higher over conventional traction motors. This enables significantly reduced use of magnets, copper, aluminium, steel, etc., with zero compromises in performance, said a company statement.

Abhinava Rizel says that it has multiple patented innovations whose incorporation in design yields around 15% improved overall drive cycle efficiency over conventional traction motors. This means that a typical EV user can travel 15% more distance on every charge, or EV OEMs can use around 15% smaller battery pack for a given range, making EVs affordable to a wider market. The start-up is also developing gearboxes and innovative controllers using Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) technologies to soon provide integrated (3-in-1) “Controller+Motor+Gearbox” solutions to their customers across all segments of automotive and off-highway spaces.

Commenting on the investment, Mr Vidyashankar Krishnan (Vice Chairman and MD of MM Forgings Ltd) said, “MMF is the supplier of choice for leading global automotive companies across the spectrum of vehicle configurations, especially in the passenger and commercial transportation automotive segments. These relationships have grown over time, and MMF has secured the preferred supplier status through a combination of innovation, joint development, cost competitiveness, and above all, high integrity in delivery and service. Given the growing presence of EVs across the overall automotive market, MMF is seeking attractive investment and partnering opportunities to pivot itself and become a significant industry participant in this emerging sector.

We are excited about the capabilities developed by Abhinava Rizel and believe MMF can accelerate its progress significantly. We expect the market for EV powertrains in India to gradually grow to ₹ 100,000 crores over the medium term. Through this investment, MMF expects Abhinava Rizel to acquire a reasonably attractive share of the marketplace in step with the acceptance of its capabilities, he added.

According to BVN Madhu, Co-founder at Abhinava Rizel, “The current scenario is an opportunity for India to play a bigger role in the global EV transition. We believe in making India known for great engineering and technology by providing leading-edge EV Powertrain solutions across the world. We deeply care about this, and we are happy to join hands with MM Forgings which shares this very same zeal. Together, we intend to have the “spirit, speed, and agility” of a startup with the “reliability and pedigree” which comes with MMF’s 75 years of autocomp manufacturing to deliver optimum powertrain solutions to the global EV space. Exciting times ahead.”

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