Electric Vehicle Motor Maker Chara Raises $4.75 Million in Pre-Series A Round

Firm’s motor and controller to go into production later this year

January 17, 2023


Chara, a Bengaluru-based manufacturer of electric motors for electric vehicles (EV), has raised $4.75 million in a pre-series A round funding, which was led by venture capitalist Exfinity Venture Partners.

The funding round also saw participation from Vietnam-based Big Capital, a venture arm of Bitexco and Log9 Materials.Existing investors Kalaari Capital and ciie.co were also involved in the round.

The technology company is building a scalable, cloud-controlled, and rare-earth-free platform for designing, building, and deploying electric motors for EVs and other use cases. Chara’s proprietary Drive Control Firmware is the brain of its motor controllers.

Bhaktha Keshavachar, Founder & CEO, Chara Technologies, said “We’re working towards turning the current motor tech on its head, doing away with inefficient and rare-earth-dependent practices. We are building cost-effective and intelligent motors and controllers for EV, HVAC, and other industries. We are very excited to work with Exfinity, BigCapital, Log9, Kalaari, and CIIE to bring cutting-edge technology to OEMs in India and in the future to the world.”

Chara has already built motors for 2-wheelers (hub and mid-mount), 3- and 4-wheelers light commercial vehicles, and other use cases, the company said.

It added that motors and their matching controllers are being field tested currently and are expected to go into production later this year.

The company’s current motor range starts from fractional kW to tens of kW with voltage range from 48 V to 400 V. It has filed patents in motor design, controller design, and control algorithms for these technologies.

Chinnu Senthilkumar, Managing Partner at Exfinity, said, “To build SRM/Hybrid version of SRM motors, an interdisciplinary team with backgrounds in electro-mechanical, power electronics, and software domains is a must. We found that the Chara founding team is exemplary in this regard. Exfinity strongly believes that the EV story for South Asia and similar markets has to be contextualized and not replicated from the U.S. and European markets. Chara Motors is also a great example for Atmanirbhar Bharat as it delinks the permanent magnet supply chain dependency from China and other countries.”

Nearly four years ago, Exfinity Venture had led a series A round of funding for Log 9 Materials in which the recipient raised $3.5 million.

Electric vehicle industry stakeholders are optimistic about 2023 after EV sales reached a record level in 2022. EV sales in India touched nearly a million vehicles last year, a growth of 300% year-over-year.