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Zypp Electric raises $15 mn to expand company’s fleet, domestic operations

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New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) Tech-enabled EV-as-a-service platform Zypp Electric said on Monday that it raised $15 million to expand the company’s fleet from 21,000 to 2,00,000 electric scooters and domestic operations to 15 cities across the country by 2026.

The round was led by Japanese major ENEOS, along with participation from existing investors 9unicorns, IAN fund, venture catalysts, WFC & others.

“Our commitment to reducing emissions and improving the lives of our driver partners and customers remains stronger than ever. These funds will be utilised to drive the company towards the full path of growth along with EBITDA profitability,” Akash Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of Zypp Electric, said in a statement.

According to the company, the Series C1 funding comprises “$15 million in equity closure as part of its ongoing $50 million round, which is split into $40 million equity and $10 million in debt”.

“Zypp is operating its business as a pioneer in the EV motorcycle delivery market with competitiveness, and this is the reason why we decided to invest,” said ENEOS.

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In FY23-24, Zypp Electric registered a revenue of Rs 325 crore and recently launched operations in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The company has done more than 50 million shipment deliveries via electric vehicles from January 2023 to March 2024.

–IANS

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Budget spurs India's efforts to break China's dominance in critical minerals

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Budget spurs India's efforts to break China's dominance in critical minerals

Budget spurs India's efforts to break China's dominance in critical minerals

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, presenting the Budget 2024-25 on Tuesday, announced the setting up of a Critical Mineral Mission for domestic production, recycling of critical minerals, and overseas acquisition of critical mineral assets.

The step will give a major impetus to India emerging as an alternative to China in the supply chain for this crucial input for manufacturing high-tech electronic products.

Critical minerals such as lithium, chromium, nickel, graphite, cobalt, titanium, and rare earth elements are essential raw materials for sectors like electronics, electric vehicles, renewable energy, defence and high-tech telecommunications.

Sitharman said that the mandate for the Critical Mineral Mission will include technology development, a skilled workforce, an extended producer responsibility framework, and a suitable financing mechanism. She also said the government will launch the auction of the first tranche of offshore blocks for mining, building on the exploration already carried out. Currently, the extraction of critical minerals is dominated by a few countries such as China which makes the supply chain vulnerable to geopolitical uncertainties. India is viewed as part of the alternative supply chain that needs to be developed to break China’s dominance in this crucial segment.

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The Narendra Modi government has accelerated the exploration of critical minerals in India over the last two years as a result of which over 100 critical mineral blocks are now in the pipeline and will be put up for auction to mining companies.

India is also working in close collaboration with Australia, the world’s top producer of lithium accounting for as much as 47 per cent of the mineral. A government-to-government agreement has been signed between the Ministry of Mines and DSIR under which five projects of lithium and cobalt have been selected where project feasibility is being carried out.

KABIL, a Joint Venture Company formed by NALCO, HCL and MECL – all Central public sector enterprises under the Ministry of Mines – is entrusted with the important mission of identifying, exploring, acquiring, and developing critical and strategic mineral assets overseas.

An international summit was also held in Delhi at the end of April this year to woo foreign investors with details of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives being offered to push growth in the sunrise sector. The steps announced in the Budget will help to accelerate the country’s march to achieving the goal of securing the supply of critical minerals to take forward its green energy transition and emerge as an important part of a more global supply chain.

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–IANS

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Real estate stocks fall after Finance Minister's LTCG proposal

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Real estate stocks fall after Finance Minister's LTCG proposal

Real estate stocks fall after Finance Minister's LTCG proposal

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Real estate stocks fell after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday proposed to eliminate the indexation benefit on calculating long-term capital gains tax (LTCG) on real estate.

The Nifty Realty index was down 2.29 per cent at closing. DLF stock fell more than 6 per cent to a day’s low of Rs 778.2 over the Budget 2024 announcement.

The Finance Minister, in a bid to rationalise the capital gains tax regime, changed the LTCG tax rate to 12.5 per cent across all financial and non-financial assets. This resulted in the LTCG tax on property falling from 20 per cent earlier.

“The continued focus on PMAY-Urban with an investment of Rs 10 trillion over the next 5 years is likely to result in a positive move for the affordable housing real estate segment. However, the removal of the indexation benefit at the time of the sale of a property is likely to result in a higher tax outgo. Hence, this is a negative decision for the sector,” said Anupama Reddy, Vice President & Co-Group Head – Corporate Ratings, ICRA Limited.

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“While the indexation benefit for the real estate sector has been eliminated, the reduction of the tax to 12.50 per cent from 20 per cent is positive,” added Shrikant Chouhan, Head Equity Research, Kotak Securities.

Meanwhile, benchmark indices also fell, with the Nifty 50 down 0.6 per cent, or 136 points, and Sensex down 350 points.

Other realty stocks also tanked. Macrotech Developers was down 3.6 per cent, Godrej Properties down 5 per cent, Prestige Estates down 5.3 per cent, and Phoenix Mills down 2.1 per cent.

Bhavik Thakkar, CEO, Abans Investment Managers, noted that the removal of indexation benefits for property and other assets “will increase tax outflows”.

“For example, if you had bought a property for Rs 100 in 2001 and sold it for Rs 500 in 2024, as per earlier tax regime (when indexation benefit allowed), the tax outflows even at a 20 per cent rate would have been Rs 27.4 (as CII for FY25 is 363) whereas according to today’s budget announcement, the tax outflow at 12.50 per cent rate would be Rs 50. This may potentially impact secondary sales of properties,” Thakkar explained.

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“This uncertainty has cast a shadow over buyer sentiment in the housing market. While initial reactions are negative, the situation continues to evolve, influencing stock movements today,” said Raj Vyas, Vice President – Research, Teji Mandi.

–IANS

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Union Budget: Indian startup ecosystem hails angel tax abolition

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Union Budget: Indian startup ecosystem hails angel tax abolition

Union Budget: Indian startup ecosystem hails angel tax abolition

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) The Indian startup ecosystem on Tuesday hailed the Union Budget 2024 for abolishing angel tax — the tax imposed on funds raised by startups from angel investors — for all classes of financiers.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in her budget speech, said that the move was aimed at bolstering the Indian startup ecosystem, boosting the entrepreneurial spirit, and supporting innovation.

“The removal of angel tax is great news for early-stage startups and shows the government’s support for startup funding. The focus on creating jobs, developing skills, supporting MSMEs, and boosting manufacturing is setting the stage for a better India,” added Varun Gupta, Co-Founder, BOULT.

“The elimination of angel tax will boost confidence among investors in India, particularly at a time when startup funding is declining,” added Neha Singh, co-founder of Tracxn.

According to a recent report by Tracxn, a leading market intelligence platform, the Indian startup ecosystem saw a 13 per cent decrease in funding in H1 2024 compared to H1 2023.

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“The removal of angel tax is a strategic step towards positioning India as a global hub for innovation, increasing domestic capital formation, and enhancing the ease of doing business. This initiative creates a favourable environment for innovation and entrepreneurship, showcasing the government’s commitment to fostering a vibrant startup ecosystem,” Singh said.

Fintech Association for Consumer Empowerment (FACE) said the step will “benefit the startup ecosystem and encourage innovation.”

“The enhanced support for MSMEs, including the introduction of the credit guarantee scheme and increased Mudra loan limits, will invigorate the manufacturing and services sectors, driving growth and global competitiveness,” it added.

Introduced in the 2012 Union Budget by then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, the primary objective of angel tax was to check money laundering practices through investments in startups.

It also aimed to catch bogus firms. However, the premium paid by investors was considered as income, taxable at around 31 per cent, by tax authorities.

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“This caused a lot of problems and heartburn. It is such a relief that angel tax is finally scrapped. This has been much sought from the startup ecosystem — both founders and investors,” said M Ramakrishnan, Managing Director at Primus Partners.

“This action to abolish angel tax has the ability to bring a lot of regulatory clarity which generally is appreciated by investor communities across the world. This should help founders looking to raise capital both in domestic and international markets,” added Ankur Mittal, Cofounder, Inflection Point Ventures.

–IANS

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Centre's move for climate finance taxonomy will standardise green bond, market: Experts

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Centre's move for climate finance taxonomy will standardise green bond, market: Experts

Centre's move for climate finance taxonomy will standardise green bond, market: Experts

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Centre’s move to develop climate finance taxonomy, as announced in the Union Budget on Tuesday, will help standardise green bond and green finance markets in India, said experts.

In her seventh budget speech, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced plans to “develop a taxonomy for climate finance for enhancing the availability of capital for climate adaptation and mitigation”.

“This will support the achievement of the country’s climate commitments and green transition,” she said.

“These are steps on the right path because India’s energy security requires diversity in the energy mix,” Hisham Mundol, Chief Advisor, Environmental Defense Fund in India, told IANS.

“The development of a taxonomy for climate finance will provide the required standardisation and transparency to rapidly globalise our green bond and green finance market,” added Ramnath Iyer, CEO & Co-Founder of ESGDS.

To support energy transition — critical in the fight against climate change — the FM proposed to “expand the list of exempted capital goods for use in the manufacture of solar cells and panels in the country”.

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“‘This budget is a crucial step forward for adoption of green energy. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman highlights the budget’s strong emphasis on climate resilience. Expanding the list of exempted capital goods to solar energy projects is crucial for accelerating the transition to green energy. As the world’s third largest GHG emitter, emissions reduction in India is a global priority,” Iyer said.

The budget also strengthens the regulatory framework to support green housing.

“This could include implementing stricter energy efficiency standards for new green building projects, encourage use of sustainable materials and promote environmental conservation,” he noted.

Mundol “lauded” the budget proposal for “raising agricultural productivity and building climate resilient varieties and towards this end the investment in agricultural research and the ambition to transform agricultural research”.

“Overall, this budget will substantially accelerate our transition to a low carbon economy,” Iyer said.

–IANS

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IIT Bombay innovates to optimise fuel cell electric vehicle components

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IIT Bombay innovates to optimise fuel cell electric vehicle components

IIT Bombay innovates to optimise fuel cell electric vehicle components

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay on Tuesday informed that they have developed a novel optimisation method for determining the ideal weight and size distribution of components in fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

The new method optimises the weight, cost, and range of FCEVs by recommending the optimal size for the radiator and thermal energy storage (TES) unit, enhancing vehicle efficiency and aiding in commercialisation.

Electric vehicles, especially FCEVs, are gaining popularity as a green alternative to fossil fuels. Unlike battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which need charging, FCEVs use hydrogen fuel cells to generate electricity, emitting only water vapour. However, fuel cells generate excessive heat, requiring large radiators for cooling, which increases vehicle weight and size.

To address this, IIT Bombay’s team led by Prof Prakash C. Ghosh and Nadiya Philip, a Prime Minister’s Research Fellow (PMRF), proposed a compact radiator coupled with a TES unit, using paraffin wax as phase change material (PCM) to store thermal energy.

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This setup significantly reduces radiator size and maintains a constant coolant temperature, improving overall vehicle performance.

The study uniquely combines Electrical Energy Storage (EES) systems with TES units, using pinch analysis to determine optimal sizes for radiators, fuel cells, EES, and TES components. This integration can potentially reduce radiator size in heavy-duty vehicles by up to 2.5 times, optimising weight, volume, cost, and range based on manufacturers’ preferences.

Future steps include lab-scale experiments and real-time vehicle testing to validate the proposed thermal management system’s effectiveness under various driving conditions.

–IANS

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