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Why ex-Booking.com boss Kees Koolen is backing this EV-charging startup from India?

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As the world’s cars become electric, it will be key to figure out how to charge them.
The electric car charging infrastructure market is predicted to achieve more than $207.5 billion by 2030, according to Guidehouse Insights, and that indicates new technologies and companies will continue to pop up.

Relatively, Mumbai-based Electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions startup BrightBlu has recently announced that it has secured $1.6M funding from the Dutch clean energy conglomerate Koolen Industries. 

To reiterate, Kees Koolen, CEO of Koolen industries is the former CEO of the online travel agency Booking.com and was an early investor and former COO of the global ride-hailing firm Uber.

Makes charging affordable and accessible

Currently, the company has developed and designed the entire intelligent charging technology stack in-house. The funding will allow BrightBlu to do further in-house research and development of plug-and-charge and vehicle-to-grid solutions.

The company is also planning to set up a new high-tech research and development centre in Pune and hire talent and create new cutting-edge charging technologies. “We focus on the Indian market, which is an enormous market where urban air pollution is a massive problem, and on exports to the European market. We need to transition to a clean energy future and enable the adoption of sustainable transportation through the use of electric vehicles,” says Wybren van der Vaart, co-founder, and CEO, BrightBlue. 

He adds, “Our products are a part of the solution. Our current strategy with onboarding a strong and focused new shareholder creates momentum for our vision to become a global supplier of high quality intelligent charging solutions that accelerate the global adoption of electric vehicles.” 

BrightBlu Team

Founded by Saket Anandkrishnan, Santosh Ram Somasundaram, and Wybren van der Vaart, BrightBlu offers a suite of integrated intelligent charging solutions consisting of hardware, cloud-enabled services, and support for drivers of electric vehicles and charging station owners.

The company is on a mission to enable everyone to drive an electric vehicle by making charging easy, accessible, and affordable.

Founded in 2019, Koolen Industries provides funding and business assistance to companies that support sustainability and renewable energy. With BrightBlu, Koolen Industries has shares in 25 clean energy companies. 

This will allow BrightBlue to participate in projects that require complex multi-disciplinary solutions across the energy generation and supply chain mentions the press release. 

 In the next 5 years, Koolen Industries has the ambitious plan to become the leading provider of full-service clean energy solutions through our innovative ‘one-stop-shop’ model.

Why did Kees Koolen invest?

“BRIGHTBLU’s proven ability to seamlessly integrate software and hardware to develop and deliver price-competitive intelligent EV charging solutions makes it an ideal supplier to the corporate sector, where demand is set to soar as ever more manufacturers and utilities decide to participate in the energy transition,” said Kees Koolen, CEO, Koolen Industries.

“We are 100% aligned in our mission to decarbonise not only the transport sector, where BRIGHTBLU’s intelligent EV charging solutions will help accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, but the entire energy system,” said Koolen. 

Kees was an early investor in booking in 1997 and became one of the key persons from 2001 until the end of 2011 to build booking.com from the startup phase. Started a management consultancy firm in 1988 and invested in more than 50 tech companies since 1997, booking.com and Uber being the best known of them.

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