Ather Energy, India’s intelligent electric scooter manufacturer, raised $51 million in its latest round of funding, led by Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal’s investment of $32 million. Ather Energy was one of the earliest start-up investments of Sachin Bansal when he invested $0.5 million in the firm as an angel investor in 2014, according to a release.
Hero MotoCorp has converted its convertible debt of $19 million for this round, in addition to an $8 million venture debt by Innoven Capital.
Ather Energy was founded in 2013 by IIT Madras alumni, Tarun Mehta, and Swapnil Jain. The company is backed by founders of Flipkart, Tiger Global, Hero Motocorp and others.
The company’s flagship intelligent scooter Ather 450 opened for pre-orders in Bengaluru in June 2018 with deliveries beginning in September 2018.
“Electric vehicles are here to stay, and Ather is playing a leading role in driving this change. Sachin has been part of our growth journey, and this investment is a strong endorsement of the momentum we’ve built over these years. Post the successful launch in Bengaluru; we are eager to reach out to consumers in other cities and to build more products that will excite consumers to switch to electric vehicles. The changing landscape of personal transport has also offered us more opportunities, and you will hear about the new business models that we are investing in very soon”, said Tarun Mehta, co-founder, and CEO of Ather Energy.
As per the mandatory disclosure under Regulation 30 of the Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, Hero MotoCorp Limited has endorsed its investment in Ather.
Sachin Bansal said, “The traditional auto industry is up for a redefinition. Watching Ather closely since my early investment in 2014, I am convinced that the ecosystem that Ather is building with their products is the future of urban mobility. Their focus on end to end customer experience will open new revenue opportunities and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in India. The future is electric, and I am excited to be a part of this journey in shaping the future.”
Earlier it was reported by Mercom that Ather Energy’s, flagship intelligent scooter, Ather450 is now FAME II compliant and will receive an increased subsidy of ₹27,000 ($387).
Though the orders for the scooter have continued in Bengaluru through April, deliveries had been held back by the company so the new subsidy benefit could be passed on to the owners, the company informed in a statement.
Under the government’s FAME II program to popularize electric and hybrid vehicles, up to 1 million electric two-wheelers powered by new advanced technology battery of 2kWh are pegged to get a subsidy of up to ₹20,000 ($ 286.66).
The Union Cabinet approved the program titled Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Electric Vehicles in India Phase (II) (FAME II), aimed at the promotion of electric mobility in the country.
The program with a total budget of ₹100 billion ($1.41 billion), is expected to be deployed over a period of three years with effect from April 1, 2019. The program is the expanded version of FAME India I, which was launched on April 1, 2015, with a total outlay of ₹8.95 billion (126.2 million).
Image credit: Ather
Soumik is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Prior to joining Mercom, Soumik was a correspondent for UNI, New Delhi covering the Northeast region for seven years. He has also worked as an Asia Correspondent for Washington DC-based Hundred Reporters. He has contributed as a freelancer to several national and international digital publications with a focus on data-based investigative stories on environmental corruption, hydro power projects, energy transition and the circular economy. Soumik is an Economics graduate from Scottish Church College, Calcutta University.