Micelio is Shreyas Shibulal’s new early-stage fund which will also be building a design discovery studio apart from investing in startups in the electric vehicle space.
Shreyas Shibulal, son of Infosys Co-founder SD Shibulal, has started Micelio, a fund dedicated towards investing in electric vehicles. The fund currently has a corpus of Rs 140 crore, which it intends to invest across different startups primarily in the electric vehicle space. The fund has been set up with Shreyas’ personal wealth.
Reports suggest Shreyas continues to own 0.64 percent of Infosys, which is said to be worth Rs 1,900 crore.
Currently, the amount that the team intends to invest in startups nor the equity stake have been disclosed.”The amount of investments will depend on the what the core needs and requirements of each startup are. Currently, we are focussed on seed and early-stage companies,” Shreyas told YourStory.
The team is also launching a design discovery studio at their current office premises in JP Nagar, Bengaluru in a month’s time. Doubling up as a fully furbished workshop, the studio will not only be open for Micelio-funded companies but for other startups as well.
“A maker’s lab of sorts, the idea is to build and create a space where ideas can cross-pollinate and startups can work together,” Shreyas said.
For Shreyas, the interest in electric vehicles has been there since his college days. Having completed his post-graduation in embedded systems from the University of Pennsylvania, Shreyas also interned at Tesla for a brief period and had built a car as a college project. “Electric vehicles today are a need. The rising crude oil prices and the imports have made it a must-have,” he noted.
It was during his Tesla internship that Shreyas felt need to bring about similar innovation in India.
“With Micelio, the idea is to build and create an ecosystem that can nurture the existing talent and ecosystem players. The idea of the fund is to help build a long-term impact. It is a sector that needs patient and long-term capital,” he said.
The first order of business is to ensure that the get the right people and advisory board in place. Shreyas said that for this, they have worked with ecosystem players, startups, corporate houses and academicians.
The team claims to have already met close to 30 startups in the space.
“There are different startups building for different forms of mobility. There is a startup in a college that currently is working on a battery swapping technology, there is another one that is working on electric buses. The ideas and work is definitely there,” he said.
From electric two-wheelers to autorickshaws and buses, the auto industry has sights trained on electric vehicles. Zoomcar, in collaboration with Mahindra & Mahindra, recently launched a fleet of electric vehicles. Last year, ride-hailing platform Ola launched its fleet of electric buses and autorickshaws. This year, it announced Mission: Electric, a commitment to place over 10,000 e-rickshaws and electric autorickshaws on the streets over the next 12 months.
So, what is driving India’s ‘electric revolution’? The government push is helping. As part of its electric mobility plan, the Centre is targeting the conversion of 30 percent of the country’s total vehicle fleet to electric by 2030.
Now with Micelio funding startups in the EV space, it will be interesting to see the innovation coming from this space in the near future.