2022: The Ostara Rewind

2022 has been an exciting year for Ostara Advisors. The mission that we started out with in 2018 – to create India’s first specialised investment bank focused on Mobility and Sustainability – has led us to pole position in our chosen sectors in 2022. As we bid farewell to this exciting year, let’s recap what we’ve been up to in these past twelve months in The Ostara Rewind. 

We started the year with a bang! Our client Altigreen Propulsion Labs, India’s leading commercial EV manufacturer, raised their Series A funding round. The $40m investment round was led by Sixth Sense Ventures, along with Xponentia Capital, Accurant International, LLC USA, Reliance New Energy (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited) and Momentum Ventures (the Corporate venture arm of SMRT Corporation, Singapore). This was the largest fund-raise from Indian venture and corporate investors by an electric 3W startup and the first-ever investment in this space by all participating investors. During the year, we also helped close a few bridge rounds for our clients and are working on several exciting fund-raising and M&A transactions for industry-leading companies across the Indian EV ecosystem. 

Ostara’s Research in 2022

In our monthly newsletter, we covered several core topics that are relevant to the electric mobility landscape in India:

  • In our February newsletter, titled “The Emerging Opportunity in Micro-mobility”, we discussed the huge trend towards purpose-built vehicles for daily commutes as well as emerging consumer trends in sharing and ownership of such vehicles.
  • In our March edition,  titled “Oh SPAC!”, we demystified this much-talked-about phenomenon and gave a round-up of their rise and fall in the past year.
  • April saw the “Ostara Guide to Safe Charging”,  where we explored the causes of battery fires and the need for safe charging practices, given rising EV adoption in India. This was Part 1 of our 4-part series on the EV Charging Value Chain.
  • May 2022 marked one year of publishing our monthly newsletter. Our “First Anniversary Edition”, being Part 2 of our 4-part series on the EV Charging Value Chain saw us discuss the Indian  Charge-point Operator (CPO) landscape in some detail.
  • In our June edition, “A Quick Overview of EV Chargers”- Part 3 of our 4-part series on the EV Charging Value Chain, we covered EV chargers and their manufacturers.
  • Our July edition, “The EV Battery Management System (BMS)”, marked the final issue of our 4-Part series on the Indian Charging Landscape.  In this issue, we discussed the role and key functionalities of the BMS, different types based on design, topology and voltage, as well as our listing of key BMS players in India, and Deals and Developments.
  • With the logistics sector being a major contributor to the Indian economy, and greenhouse gas emissions, electrification is the need of the hour, which is why our August issue saw us discuss various emerging business and operating models for  “Electrifying Freight”.
  • Continuing where we left off,  September’s edition delved into how the world is electrifying freight and some interesting case studies from across the globe.
  • October’s issue shed light on the frameworks and trends in  Financing India’s EVs. This was Part 1 of our 2-part series on EV financing.
  • The November edition saw us take a look at Green Bonds and the Banking system’s role in Financing India’s EVs, Part 2 of our EV financing Series.

Ostara’s Thought Leadership in 2022

This year saw the launch of India’s first Freight Electrification initiative. NITI Aayog invited us to the launch of e-FAST India (Electric Freight Accelerator for Sustainable Transport – India), the country’s first national electric freight platform which aims to accelerate the decarbonisation of India’s freight and logistics sector.  We were also invited to speak at the World Resources Institute (WRI) Roundtable on the Decarbonization of India’s Freight & Logistics sectors,  and their workshop on financing and creating an investment ecosystem for Electric Rickshaws in India. 

At the Impact Investors Council‘s invitation, we also penned our views on the private capital flows into the Indian EV ecosystem. We were also invited to speak at IET India’s Future Tech Congress 2022,  India’s first industry-driven Mobility conference Micelio Global Clean Mobility Summit as well as the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Infrastructure Conclave: Rebooting Infrastructure.  

Vasudha Madhavan, Founder of Ostara Advisors,  was featured on Energizing India Podcast, India’s only EV-focused podcast where she spoke about Financing EVs and the EV startup ecosystem, and in the List of 5 inspiring women founders, compiled by The Better India, who also featured her as the “Woman Behind India’s First Electric-Mobility Focused Investment Bank”

As the year comes to a close, we feel truly grateful for the love and support from our clients, industry stakeholders and investors over the past year and look forward to reaching greater heights in 2023. 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year,

Team Ostara.

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Mukund Ranganathan

Partner

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Mukund Ranganathan

Partner

Mukund is a seasoned investment banker with 27 years of experience in advising companies on M&A and capital raising transactions. He has served most recently as Joint Managing Director at Motilal Oswal Investment Banking, where he worked from June 2014 to January 2021. During his career, he has facilitated over 70 strategic financial transactions including Motherson Sumi’s acquisition of PKC Group (Finland), sale of Aurangabad Electricals to Mahindra CIE, Siemens’ sale of Bangalore Airport, sale of Spicejet, Aegis’ acquisition of PeopleSupport (USA), sale of Air Deccan among others. Mukund has extensive experience in raising private equity funding as well as in the capital markets including IPOs, follow-on offerings, GDRs and ADRs for L&T Finance, Indostar, Dixon Technologies, Bharat Financial Inclusion, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro, GAIL, etc.

Mukund has earlier worked for 9 years at Edelweiss Financial Services and started his career in 1996 with a 9-year stint at Morgan Stanley. Mr. Ranganathan holds a B.Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Madras (1994) and a PGDM from Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (1996).

Vasudha Madhavan

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Vasudha Madhavan

Founder & CEO

Vasudha is the founder of Ostara Advisors (formerly Dhruva Advisors) and is one of the first investment bankers in India to specialise in Electric Mobility, having advised clients in this space since 2017. She made her all-India M&A League Table debut in the top 20 in October 2018.

In 2023, Vasudha was felicitated by India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) as one of the “Women leaders driving energy sector in India” 

Vasudha has over 21 years of experience in Corporate & Investment Banking; with leading organizations like Citibank and ICICI Bank, as well as in boutique investment banking, based in Mumbai and Bangalore. Vasudha is responsible for having set up and expanded the ‘Private Equity & Hedge Fund’ coverage vertical for Citibank, India. She has also been part of Citibank’s Risk Management team for mid-size corporates, managing the bank’s lending decisions to a portfolio of companies in ITES, auto components, facilities management services, logistics, diversified manufacturing etc.

Vasudha is also a mentor at Aspire for Her, a unique organisation that enables women to join and stay in the workforce, through campus engagement, mentorships and skilling workshops. Their vision is to impact 1 million+ women and add $5B to India’s GDP through increased participation of women in the workforce by 2025.

Vasudha earned her MBA in Finance from XLRI, Jamshedpur, India and her Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, India. She is also a certified Advanced Scuba Diver and enjoys photography, having held several solo and group exhibitions of her work.

R. 'Shanx' Ravisankar

Industry Expert – Financial Technology and Cloud Solutions

Shanx is a founding member and former CEO of Oracle Financial Services Software, (formerly known as i-flex Solutions, the company was acquired by Oracle in 2006). Shanx retired in 2011 as the Chief Operating Officer, Oracle Financial Services Global Business Unit (FSGBU). As a technology leader, he has also been profiled in leading trade and industry publications. In 2008, Shanx was selected as one of the 50 Outstanding Asian American business leaders. This accolade celebrates Asian business leaders and recognizes their pivotal roles in Corporate America. Shanx is an engineering graduate from the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, and has an MBA in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.
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