Ather Energy, the smart electric two-wheeler start-up, announced a fresh round of funding of INR 180 crores from Hero MotoCorp for 26-30% stake. The funding marks the third round of investments in Ather Energy, which is building the S340 – India’s first smart, electric scooter. Previous rounds of investments in the company were by Tiger Global; and Sachin and Binny Bansal, promoters of Flipkart, in their personal capacity.
Speaking on the investment, Tarun Mehta, CEO and co-founder of Ather Energy said, “The funding is a strong validation of our product roadmap and technology capability, endorsed by one of the biggest global automotive players. We believe smart connected electric vehicles are the future and India will be an important global player in it. Our vision is to fast forward to that future and this investment will help us leapfrog several years of automotive experience”
This new round of capital infusion will be used by Ather to sustain momentum in its journey of building a future-ready product platform, and to accelerate the infrastructure and ecosystem development around electric vehicles in the country. The Board of Directors of Hero MotoCorp, in its meeting held on October 26, 2016, approved an investment of up to Rs. 205 crore, of which the immediate tranch is of Rs. 180 crore.
Commenting on this investment, Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp said “As the market leader and a global automotive major, Hero takes the lead in many areas that benefit the environment, customer and industry. Adoption of environment-friendly fuel is a priority for Hero, as is propagating sustainable manufacturing through green facilities. One of our strategic priorities, therefore, is to engage with the external ecosystem, including start-ups in adjacent areas.
Hero MotoCorp intends to enhance its participation in the EV space by pursuing its internal EV program in addition to partnering with Ather. Ather is the best start-up in the two-wheeler EV space and we firmly believe that they are on the way to become one of the leaders in India, potentially even globally. They bring together a vision with high aspiration, ability to progress rapidly and the humility to learn and improve continually. We are excited to be a strategic investor and see this as an important step in building the necessary ecosystem needed to support commercialisation of EVs in the country.”
Earlier this year, Ather unveiled the S340, an uncompromising electric vehicle with a Lithium ion battery pack, top speed of 72 kmph and a range of 60 km. But what sets Ather apart is the fundamental promise of a richer ownership experience. On the product, this manifests through vehicle intelligence which enables on board navigation, pre-emptive diagnostics, remote configuration and personalised ride profiles through a touchscreen dashboard and mobile app. The experience extends to the go-to-market strategy with a combination of online sales complemented by experience centres that will bring the brand to life. The ownership experience also ensures convenience through door step delivery and servicing and a mobile app for remote access and configuration. Ather also aims at setting up a ubiquitous charging infrastructure in every city it will operate in, partnering with government and private enterprises.
About Ather Energy:
Ather Energy Pvt. Ltd. is an automobile design and manufacturing company founded in the year 2013 by IIT Madras graduates – Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain. Ather is committed to building smart, connected, uncompromising vehicles and seeks to reimagine urban commute with the help of technology. The team of about 150 employees is currently developing an electric two-wheeler, which will be completely designed and made In India. They are presently in their stage of product testing and vendor finalization for their first product, the S340.
Source: press release Ather Energy