New Delhi: Ather Energy, an electric scooter manufacturing startup, on Monday raised funds to the tune of $51 million, which would be used for setting up a new manufacturing capacity, research and development for a range of upcoming products and setting up of charging stations. Former Flipkart founder Sachin Bansal made an investment of $32 million in the current round of fundraising while Hero MotoCorp Ltd, country’s largest manufacturer of two-wheelers, has converted its convertible debt of $19 million.
Singapore-based InnoVen Capital – one of Asia’s largest venture debt provider to startups - has extended an $8-million venture debt to the scooter manufacturing startup.
Pawan Munjal-led Hero MotoCorp has already invested more than ₹330 crore in the Bangalore-based startup in two separate rounds of funds raising. Ather has also previously raised funds from American hedge fund and venture capital investor Tiger global and former Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal.
Ather is now entering an aggressive expansion phase, with the opening of pre-orders in Chennai in the coming weeks, and eventually scaling to 30 cities by the end of 2023. To meet the projected demand in the coming years, the company is planning a new manufacturing facility that will be designed to produce one million vehicles a year, said the company in a press statement issued.
“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," said Tarun Mehta, founder, Ather Energy.
According to Sachin Bansal, the traditional auto industry is up for a redefinition and 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 up new revenue opportunities and accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in India, he said.
Ather Energy will also set up 6,500 Ather Grid fast charging points across the country over the next five years with a projected investment of ₹130 crore.