ⓘ Featured image: Ather Energy co-founders; Swapnil Jain (L) and Tarun Mehta
Bengaluru-based electric scooter manufacturer, Ather Energy has today raised a sum of INR 84 crore (around $11.2 million) from India’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp. This is the second investment of Hero MotoCorp in Ather, the first one was back in 2016.
Founded in 2013 by the two IITians, Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, Ather Energy at present manufactures two electric scooter models; Ather 450X and Ather 450. Ather is currently running its operations and facilities in Bengaluru and Chennai; with the fresh funds, the company is planning to expand its portfolio, scale operations across 20 more cities across India by the end of 2021.
Commenting on the investment round, Rajat Bhargava, Head of Emerging Mobility Business Unit (EMBU), Global Business & Strategy, Hero MotoCorp, in a statement said,
“We see immense potential for them(Ather) to expand their market even further, especially given the likely growth of electric vehicles (EV) in the near future. In addition to our efforts of developing a robust external eco-system for EVs, we are also aggressively working on our internal EV program. Our aim is to provide accessible electric mobility to customers across the globe. Sustainability and clean, green environment remain central to our vision to be the future of mobility.”
As a part of the growth plans, Ather Energy is also projecting the launch of a new manufacturing facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. The facility will have the capacity to manufacture 100,000 units annually and can be scalable to 500,000 units annually. The company also has a plan to install fast-charging points across India over the next five years.
Hero MotoCorp’s investment in Ather Energy is paving towards fulfilling its goals in the electric vehicle domain. Other automobile behemoths like Bajaj Auto and TVS have also ventured into the electric vehicle space. For now, the EV space in India is revolutionised by new startups including Ather, Yulu, Okinawa, Avan, Revolt and many more.
Apart from Hero MotoCorp, Ather’s investors include former Flipkart promoters Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal and US hedge fund titan Tiger Global.