- 1st strategic move by Gulf Oil International into the e-mobility sector
- 2nd investment made by the Clean Growth Fund in a UK clean-tech company
Indra, the fast-growing electric vehicle and smart energy technology company developing innovative charging and energy storage solutions for home and commercial use, has secured a £6million investment led by the UK venture capital fund, the Clean Growth Fund, alongside Gulf Oil International (Gulf).
Through their investment in Indra, Gulf is making its first strategic move into the e-mobility/electric vehicles sector.
Indra, which was founded in 2013 and is based in Malvern (Worcestershire), manufactures a range of smart energy products, including its market-leading electric vehicle smart charger (the “Smart Pro”), and a bi-directional “Vehicle to Grid” charger designed for residential and light commercial use.
The investment in Indra is being made by the Clean Growth Fund (CGF) and Gulf at a time when sales for electric vehicles (EVs) in UK and overseas markets are rapidly increasing.
Indra’s smart chargers can be used by all EV types (cars, vans and buses), and are designed to be quickly, easily and safely installed; Indra’s chargers use a standard residential electrical connection. Indra’s smart chargers allow users to charge their vehicles during off-peak times, when grid carbon intensity is at its lowest.
CGF and Gulf will each become shareholders in Indra, alongside OVO Group, which had provided seed capital and technical support to Indra via Kaluza, its technology business.
OVO Group invested in Indra in 2017, taking it from a fledgling technology start-up to an “entech” challenger, building the world’s first domestic Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charger and exporting its technology as far as Australia and Taiwan. Through Kaluza’s market-leading smart charging capability, Indra’s V2G chargers are the first to provide grid flexibility in the UK, supporting grid balancing as more renewable energy and higher demand affects the system.
For Gulf, the investment in Indra is a significant strategic move into the EV market. A long-established downstream oil business, one of the UK’s main fuel brands and best-known for its forecourt and lubricants businesses and its involvement in motor racing, Gulf sees its investment in Indra as a stepping-stone into the e-mobility sector, for both electric cars and electric buses. By joining up with Gulf, Indra will be able to leverage the Gulf brand to grow its business and customer base internationally with a particular focus on India, a key market for the Gulf Group where they intend to exclusively apply the Gulf brand to Indra’s smart chargers.
Indra is developing the next generation of smart energy products and using their extensive knowledge of energy systems and EVs to design integrated home energy management solutions that will revolutionise the control of smart energy devices across the home.
Indra is a global pioneer in V2G technologies, having designed and built the V2G hardware used in the world’s largest residential V2G programme. Its key customers to date include Nissan and OVO Energy, who together in December 2018 announced the world’s first install of a domestic V2G charger in a customer’s home. Other customers include the forward-thinking energy network operators – Jersey Electricity and Taiwan Power Company.
The investment by CGF and Gulf will facilitate Indra’s development work, enabling it to grow its customer base and build Indra’s revenue stream in UK and international markets. Indra expects to increase the size of its workforce to more than 100 people (over the next 3-5 years) to take full advantage of the increasing market opportunities.