Hero MotoCorp-backed electric two-wheeler start-up Ather Energy has raised $35 million in a fresh funding round led by Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal. The billionaire technology entrepreneur has invested $23 million in the company, taking total investment in the EV start-up to $53 million. Bansal, who exited Flipkart in 2018, had chipped in as an angel investor with $0.5 million funds in Ather Energy in 2014.
"Ather Energy's new product line and expansion plans across the country will make EVs a part of the Indian landscape. Having been a part of the team since 2014, it's great to see their vision taking shape," said Bansal on the fresh round of his investment in the company.
Hero MotoCorp, that has been a part of Ather's growth story since 2016, invested $12 million as a part of the Series D round in the EV startup, Ather Energy said in a release. Earlier in July this year, the country's largest two-wheeler manufacturer had invested Rs 84 crore in the company, raising its stake in Ather Energy to 34.58 per cent.
The Bengaluru-based seven-year-old electric two-wheeler maker said that this round of investment will help the company to accelerate its expansion plans and speed up the deliveries of its electric scooter, Ather 450X.
The company further stated that the continued investment by existing investors is a manifestation of confidence in the brand and the sector.
"Electric vehicles are here to stay and Ather Energy 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," said Tarun Mehta, Co-founder & CEO, Ather Energy.
With Ather 450X and Ather 450 Plus e-scooter models in its product portfolio, the company has been aggressively expanding, with the opening of nine new markets - Pune, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Coimbatore, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kolkata in the coming days, and the installation of Ather Grid in all the new cities, the company said in a statement.
In a bid to meet the projected demand in the coming years, the EV maker is moving to a new manufacturing facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, which will be designed to produce up to 1 million vehicles a year.
"Post the successful launch of our new product line, we are now looking forward to delivering the vehicles and seeing them across all cities. The pandemic has changed the landscape of personal transport and we hope that with high performance alternatives available, people will choose electric vehicles for their daily commute," Mehta added.
By Chitranjan Kumar with PTI inputs