Ather Energy, a Bengaluru based electric vehicle manufacturer, 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. As a part of this funding, Hero MotoCorp has also converted its Convertible Debt of $19 million whereas InnoVen Capital has extended an $8 million venture debt.
Prior to this, Bansal was an angel investor for Ather Energy dating his investment of $500,000 in 2014. Ather Energy launched its flagship scooter Ather 450 in 2018 and opened for pre-orders in Bengaluru in June 2018 with deliveries beginning in September the same year. With an order backlog of about five months, the EV company will be utilising this fund for expansion of capacity to 25,000 units per annum and expand the business to other cities. The company will start taking pre-orders in Chennai in the coming weeks and the firm has planned to expand the business to 30 cities by the end of 2023.
In the coming years, Ather Energy is planning to install a new manufacturing facility which will be designed to produce 1 million vehicles a year. The startup also plans to set up 6,500 Ather Grid fast charging points across the country over the next 5 years with a projected investment of Rs 130 crore.
On the latest round of funding, Tarun Mehta, Co-founder & CEO of Ather Energy, said, "Sachin has been a 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," Mehta added.
Bansal said that conventional automobile industry is in a transition phase and it is up for a redefinition.
"Watching Ather closely since my early investment in 2014, I am convinced that 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. The future is electric and I am excited to be a part of this journey in shaping the future," Bansal said.
In the past 6 months, Ather 450 owners have clocked more than 6 lakh kms in Bengaluru and the company has installed 31 fast charging station, called Ather Grid, across the city along with 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 Rs 2,517.
Under the 'Ather One' subscription, a post-service plan, the company has been providing services like doorstep pick up and service, 24X7 roadside assistance, free charging at home and in public etc. If we talk about Ather 450, it is designed for city riding conditions, the scooter has a top speed of 80 km/hr, a range of 75 km and one of the quickest in the scooter category with an acceleration of 3.9 seconds from 0-40 km/hr.