- Vaibhav Kaushik, CEO and co-founder of Nawgati, shared petrol pumps in India, sooner or later, will accommodate EV charge points and loads of new business opportunities for the ecosystem
- The start-up is close to raising a massive seed round, the Electronics B2B team learned from a credible source
Noida-based fuel-aggregator app and Software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider start-up Nawgati is aiming to list 1,500 electric vehicle charging points on its app before the end of this current fiscal. It already has close to 70,000 fuel filling points (Petrol/Diesel), and 5,000 CNG points listed on the app.
“EV charge points are a natural extension for us. The problem we are solving for CNG consumers needs to be solved at a bigger scale for EV consumers and charge point operators,” Vaibhav Kaushik, CEO & Co-Founder of Nawgati, told Electronics For You and Electronics B2B in an exclusive conversation.
The start-up has raised a seed round and is in talks to raise Series A, which the Electronics B2B team learned from a credible source. The start-up, founded by Kaushik, Aalaap Nair, and Aryan Sisodia, started working on the fuel aggregation problem after a cab ride that got late due to congestion at a CNG filling station.
Kaushik explained, “We started speaking to several pump owners and fuel companies and discovered that congestion was just the tip of the iceberg. Both station owners and consumers were facing a lot of other problems.”
Different Revenue Streams
Nawgati uses the charging points, fuel dispensing machines, and cameras installed at stations to facilitate these services. The start-up says its services have helped station owners improve efficiency and reduce recurring costs.
“The idea with Nawgati has always been to increase the topline and decrease the bottom line,” he said. The Nawgati app tells consumers how long they must wait at a particular EV charge point or a CNG station to refuel their vehicle.
Gurgaon and Bangalore are the first two cities. Nawgati will list EV charging points on its app, followed by other metro cities. The EV charge points will include home and on-road EV chargers.
The founders found this a “natural extension” when one of their friends brought home an EV and had to download multiple apps to find locations of different EV charging points. It generates revenue by charging a SaaS subscription fee from pump owners, who get access to the start-up’s B2B solutions platform, Aaveg. The other revenue medium for the company includes the fee for congestion data API for fleet operators.
“Fleet operators want their vehicles to spend the majority of time on-road. This API provides such operators with congestion data. It is being used by the fleets deployed under some of the largest networks in India,” Kaushik explained.
Notably, the adoption of electric two- and three-wheelers (E2Ws and E3Ws) in last-mile logistics is skyrocketing in India. Accordingly, Nawgati believes that its congestion API will be a significant revenue generator for the same starting next fiscal.
Both CNG and EV charging points are bound to increase in India. Nawgati also has plans to start offering some premium (paid) features to end users via the Nawgati app. At the moment, all features on the app are free for end users, while the operators need access to the Aaveg platform to list themselves on the app.
Petrol Pumps Are Prime Real Estate
Also, in discussion with battery swap point operators and enablers for listing these points on the app, Kaushik feels the petrol stations in India are “prime real estate”, and a majority of them will evolve into providing charging services for EVs, and all other alternate fuels slowly and gradually.
“I feel the petrol pumps are prime real estate. They are not going anywhere. Every fuel type will co-exist. We will also see more and more cafes opening at these stations for people to get their EVs charged there. Some fuel companies have already started opening their mobility station at some of these locations,” Kaushik highlighted.
As per him, most highway-based petrol stations are undergoing the EV charge point transition, as range anxiety kicks in a lot during long travels. The same, he said, is being led by the fuel companies.
As of today, he added, over one million users are registered on the Nawgati App, and roll-out for fleet owners started a few months ago. The start-up understands that many cross-selling can occur via the app and is in discussion with different “service providers”.
The start-up says it has filed a patent (software + hardware) for its congestion management solution at charging and fuel-filling points. It is a plug-and-play device with an edge controller and software, and Kaushik explained that it can be made available for remote areas as well. Nawgati plans to deploy 2,000 of these in six to 10 months.
He refrained from sharing more about the same “unless the patent is granted” in India and internationally. According to a recent report named ‘Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles’ released by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India will need a minimum of 1.32 million charging stations by 2030 to facilitate the adoption of EVs and to achieve its EV target.