Mitsui has invested $14.5m in SmartE, which will use the proceeds to expand its fleet of electric-powered rickshaws and strengthen its charging infrastructure.

India-based electric vehicle (EV) technology developer SmartE has received Rs 1bn ($14.5m) in a series B round that featured diversified conglomerate Mitsui, LiveMint reported on Sunday.

Founded in 2014, SmartE provides a fleet of electric-powered rickshaws that are used by customers for short trips around cities in India. It has also built EV charging infrastructure in the cities which is collectively capable of charging 800 vehicles at the same time.

In addition to increasing the size of its fleet, the capital will be used to bolster SmartE’s charging network so it incorporates both EV charging stations and battery swapping services. It has also partnered Mitsui to access and leverage its existing EV network.

The company had previously raised $5m in series A funding from Ecotransit Investments International in 2015.

Goldie Srivastava, SmartE’s founder and chief executive, told the Economic Times: “Mitsui will bring to SmartE multiple synergies through its existing businesses in the EV domain around the world to enable the company for long-term growth.”