Electric vehicle startup Ather Energy is planning to invest close to $10 million in its manufacturing facility. The homegrown company is aiming to open bookings for its first electric scooters in India by early 2018.
The IIT Madras- incubated startup has invested over Rs 100 crore in the development of the product and has received funding from a few marquee investors, raising around Rs 290 crore up till now.
Founded in the year 2013 by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain, Ather Energy is developing an electric two-wheeler, which they claim will be completely designed and made in India.
Ather’s first smart electric scooter S340 has a top speed of 72kmph and a range of 60km on a full charge. Ather claims that it can be fully charged in just 1.5 hours. The vehicle achieves an 80% charge in 50 minutes in fast charging mode and can be charged from any 5A normal socket in normal mode.
The company, which aims to start delivering the electric bikes in the second quarter of next year, had raised $12 million in funding from Tiger Global for the development, testing, production, and launch of the Ather S340 in May 2015. And earlier, in 2014, Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal had invested $1 million in the startup.
In October 2016, the startup received Rs 180 crore in its third round of funding from country’s largest two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp. In exchange, Hero had picked 26-30 per cent stake in the company.
“We have conducted the beta test rides and open houses across Bengaluru and Chennai. Close to 100 such enthusiasts have already test-ridden the S340 and feedback has been helpful and positive. We are looking to put an investment of about Rs 60 crore in the manufacturing facility in Whitefield (outskirts of Bengaluru) which has an initial capacity of 20,000 units,” said Tarun Mehta CEO Ather Energy, reported TOI.
The startup has been extensively working on building the infrastructure to support these vehicles and is in active discussions with multiple stakeholders to build the charging units. It has carried out small pilots of its prototype product with a select group of people in Bengaluru, and it plans to roll out its first product in three markets–Bengaluru, Pune, and Chennai.
“We do not anticipate a funding requirement at least till the end of next year but it is obvious that for the business that we are in, we would need a few more rounds of funding before the business can stand on its feet,” Mehta said. “I foresee at least 2-3 rounds of funding over the next 5 years, ” said earlier to ET.
The Gujarat-based Yo Bykes has pioneered the electric scooter in India. Other entrants in the space include Hero RNT Diesel Hybrid Scooter, Hero Splendor iSmart, Hero Leap, Mahindra GenZe, TVS Qube and Hyosung ST-E3 EVA.
Ather Energy: Website