Electric scooter maker Ather Energy recently raised $128 million in its Series E round from National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF), the Indian government’s sovereign wealth fund, and existing investor Hero MotoCorp.
Soon after the fundraising announcement, the Bengaluru-based startup has filed its annual financial report for FY22 which has some interesting numbers to delve into.
Ather Energy has witnessed significant growth in its scale. The company’s operating revenue grew 411.9% to Rs 408.5 crore in FY22 from Rs 79.80 crore in FY21, according to its regulatory filings with the RoC. Sale of electric two wheelers constitutes 98% of the company’s operating revenue.
During the year, Ather Energy sold (retailed) 323% more units of its electric scooters to 23,408 units in FY22 which was at 5,523 units in FY21. As per the filings, the company also expanded from 9 retail stores (experience centers) in 9 cities last year to 34 experience centers in 28 cities at the end of FY22.
The geographical spread of the network comprises 51% in the South followed by 21% in the West, 20% in the North and 9% in the East of India, filings further added. Ather also had some of its operating income from the sale of services which is provided to customers as an additional feature to the main product. This income increased 81.3% to Rs 2.9 crore in FY22.
Interest income from fixed deposits & current investments and gain from sale of such investments shrank 36.5% to Rs 5.4 crore in FY22 pushing total income of Ather to Rs 413.9 crore in FY22 from Rs 88.30 crore in the previous fiscal year (FY21).
Ather Energy has been in pure play manufacturing of electric two-wheelers making the cost of the parts and materials its largest cost center forming 51.7% of the overall cost which grew 327% to Rs 391.6 crore in FY22 from Rs 91.7 crore in FY21.
Employee benefit expenses were the second major expenditure followed by cost of materials consumed. This cost swelled 74.7% to Rs 114.8 crore in FY22 from Rs 65.7 crore in FY21. Importantly, the company has spent 27.6 crore on ESOP expenses in FY22, which were settled in cash.
Finance costs for Ather Energy grew 44.2% to Rs 39.8 crore in FY22. This cost includes Rs 33.1 crore as interest on non-current loan against the non-current borrowings of Rs 1088 crore in FY22. Further, the cost of advertisement and promotion increased 44.4% to Rs 45.5 crore in FY22 from Rs 31.5 crore in FY21.
The company spent another Rs 25.2 crore and 10.9 crore on legal & professional cost and rent & utilities respectively, pushing annual cost by 135.7% to Rs 758 crore from Rs 321.6 crore in the previous fiscal year (FY21).
On a unit level, the company spent Rs 1.86 to earn a single unit of operating revenue in FY22, which shows notable improvement from the last fiscal year when the company spent Rs 4.03 to earn the same.
In line with revenue, costs for the company also increased, although at a slower pace resulting in Ather Energy posting a loss of Rs 344.1 crore in FY22 where the figures stood at Rs 233.3 crore in the previous fiscal year (FY21).
During the last fundraise, Mehta also said that the company is expected to increase its capacity from 10,000 a month to 35,000 a month by this year as it aims to hit 1 million capacity by the next year. According to Mehta, the company is already generating revenues of over Rs 100 crore a month and hopes to double the number in FY23.
In a media report, the company also revealed that it managed to sell 3,787 electric scooters in May as compared to 3,779 units sold in April 2022.
Ather Energy’s rival company Ola Electric has stolen a march in the electric two-wheeler segment. The Bhavish Aggarwal-led company was in the pre-revenue stage as of FY21. The company’s revenue from operations dropped by 52% to only Rs 86 lakhs during FY21 as compared to revenue of Rs 1.8 crore generated in FY20. The Bengaluru-based company registered nearly Rs 200 crore loss in FY21. However, Ola Electric’s strong bookings and sales in the past two months places it well to lead the market for some time.
Ather Energy has emerged as the default market leader among Indian startups (in EV space) in terms of generating revenue with decent year-on-year growth. More than a dozen startups such as Yulu, Ultraviolette, Tork Motor, Pure EV, Revolt, Avan Motors, Emflux Motors, Orxa Energies are active in the electric two-wheeler segment including scooters and bikes.
Ather Energy has gone for a steady build from the ground up approach for its scooter plans. From its first funding round in 2014 from Flipkart’s Sachin and Binny Bansal, it would appear that it will take the firm almost 10 years to get where Ola claims to be going in less than 4 years. That has made it look slow when compared to Ola. On the other hand, it remains one of the few EV brands that has built a strong trust factor with users and hopes to use it as a differentiator in the future too on the basis of its safety record and more.