Homegrown electric scooter maker Ather Energy has raised $51 million in its latest round of funding, led by Sachin Bansal who has investment $32 million. Ather Energy was one of the earliest startup 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.
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 which will be designed to produce 1 million vehicles a year. Ather Energy will also set up 6500 Ather Grid fast charging points across the country over the next 5 years with a projected investment of Rs 130 crore.
The company’s flagship Ather 450 opened for pre-orders in Bengaluru in June 2018 with deliveries beginning in September 2018. Having seen immense interest, scooters are all out of stock till September 2019.
“The traditional auto industry 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,” Sachin Bansal said in a statement.
In the past 6 months, the startup claims that 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.
Being a connected vehicle, Ather 450 has received multiple over-the-air (OTA) updates since September 2018, adding features like new ride modes, guide-me-home lights, making them one of the fastest iteration cycles in the country.
“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,” Tarun Mehta, Co-founder and CEO, Ather Energy said.