Electric scooter manufacturer Ather Energy has raised an investment of $51 million in its latest round of funding, led by Flipkart 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.
Hero MotoCorp has converted its convertible debt of $19 million as a part of this round. In addition to this, InnoVen Capital has extended an $8-million venture debt.
To meet the projected demand in the coming years, the company is planning a new manufacturing facility, which will be designed to produce 1 million vehicles a year. Ather Energy will also set up 6,500 Ather Grid fast charging points across the country over the next 5 years with an estimated investment of Rs 130 crore.
Tarun Mehta, co-founder & CEO, Ather Energy, said: “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.”
The company’s flagship Ather 450 opened for pre-orders in Bengaluru in June 2018 with deliveries beginning in September 2018. The scooters have piqued the interest of automobile and tech enthusiasts alike, selling out stocks till September 2019.
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.
In the past 6 months, the Ather 450 owners have clocked more than 6-lakh km in Bengaluru and Ather Grid, company’s public charging network, has 31 fast charging points in Bengaluru and 7 fast charging points in Chennai.
Ather is the first in the country to offer innovative purchase options like lease, with monthly payments as low as `2,517, which make the intelligent electric scooter accessible to the 18 million Indian two-wheeler market. They have also been a pioneer in the post sales experience innovation with a subscription plan named Ather One which is a one-stop solution that includes doorstep pick up and service, 24X7 roadside assistance, free charging at home and in public etc.
THE FINANCIAL EXPRESS
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