Bengaluru-based Ather Energy, which manufactures electric scooters, raised $51 million in its latest round of funding, led by Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal, who invested $32 million. One of Bansal’s earliest startup investments, he put $500,000 in the firm in 2014. Existing investor Hero MotoCorp converted its convertible debt of $19 million as a part of this round, while InnoVen Capital extended $8 million in venture debt.
“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,” said Bansal. “The future is electric and I am excited to be a part of this journey in shaping the future.”
The company’s two products Ather 340 and Ather 450 had opened for pre-orders in Bengaluru in June 2018 and deliveries commenced in January this year. At present, the vehicles have a waiting period of six to seven months. In the coming weeks, Ather Energy would be start accepting pre-orders for the Chennai market, with plans to scale to 30 cities in India by the end of 2023. The company is also planning a new manufacturing facility, which would be designed to produce 1 million vehicles a year.
“Sachin has been part of our growth journey and this investment is a strong endorsement of the momentum we’ve built over these years,” said Tarun Mehta, co-founder & CEO, Ather Energy. “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.”
Besides the electric scooters, the company has also built a public charging infrastructure known as Ather Grid, which is present across 31 locations in Bengaluru and seven in Chennai. The company plans set up 6,500 Ather Grids across the country over the next five years at an investment of ₹130 crore.