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US Chipmaker Plans to Invest in Potential Indian EV Start-ups

The chipmaker is looking at exploring the untapped vehicle ‘subscription services’.

by Aishwarya Saxena

US-based chipmaker, Qualcomm has been planning to look out for potential partners with Indian electric vehicle start-ups for investments.

QualcommBesides looking at picking up stakes in Indian EV start-ups, Qualcomm’s venture capital arm is also open to mergers and acquisitions to get a piece of the emerging industry.

“Our venture arm invests in key areas, including 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), automotive and Internet of Things (IoT) to help expand Qualcomm’s ecosystem of customers and partners. We want to gain insights and invest in companies that advance our technologies. When we invest in start-ups, we help them with products or go-to-market operations,” a Qualcomm spokesperson quoted.

Qualcomm’s bid is largely driven by the huge scope of the Indian auto market and the growing transition toward electric vehicles. Amidst an emerging trend of cellular connectivity in automobiles for telematics and infotainment, the company feels that it is well-positioned to scale the EV transformation.

The chipmaker is looking at exploring the untapped vehicle ‘subscription services’ market, according to the report citing sources. The move would likely create additional revenue streams for automakers.

The chipmaker also appears to have seen the huge market potential for tech-based use cases in electric two-wheelers. Essentially, Qualcomm has been experimenting with different use cases of already-existing passenger car technologies and deploying them in electric vehicles.

The news is likely expected to bring further cheer for Indian electric start-ups that have been at the forefront of the EV revolution in the country. From a handful of players, the space has grown manifold, especially in the past year.

The emergence of homegrown players such as Ola Electric, Hero-backed Ather, Euler and Okinawa have led to better products and a larger choice spectrum for customers.

Not just start-ups, the space has also seen the entry of conglomerates in the EV industry, across both two-wheeler and four-wheeler segments. The ensuing competition has seen many of these giants acquire start-ups and invest heavily for their electric vehicle foray.

Despite owning Hero Electric, the two-wheeler major Hero Motor Corp has invested in Ather. TVS Motor has invested in two Switzerland-based EV companies namely EGO Movement and SMEG as well as a British start-up EBCO to strengthen its EV play.

Similarly, these major players have also tied up with major consumer internet companies to deploy their EV products. While Amazon has partnered with TVS, Flipkart has worked with Mahindra to deploy EV two-wheelers for last-mile deliveries.

With its heavy dominance in the chip market, Qualcomm aims to replicate its success in the emerging Indian market as well.

It aims to deploy its cutting-edge technology to build the EV ecosystem, which is largely dependent on chips and semiconductors imported from abroad.

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