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EV startup River scoops up $15 Mn led by Al Futtaim Group

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Electric vehicle manufacturer River has scooped up $15 million in a new round led by Dubai’s Al Futtaim Group. Existing investors Lowercarbon Capital, Toyota Ventures, Maniv Mobility, and Trucks VC also participated in the Series B round.

The funding marks River’s third round, following a $2 million seed round in March 2021 and a $11 million Series A round in July 2022. Notably, River is the sole Indian investment for Al Futtaim group, Toyota Ventures, Trucks VC, and Maniv Mobility while Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital had invested in Mumbai-based SolarSquare in June last year.

The fresh capital is set to boost River’s manufacturing capabilities and prepare for its upcoming market launch. The company aims to begin deliveries by August this year, River said in a press statement.

Founded by Aravind Mani and Vipin George, River’s first product is a multi-utility electric scooter which it claims to be designed and built in India. The company’s first product, the Indie, claims to have covered more than 1,00,000 kilometers in testing.

According to the firm, the Indie resonates with the Indian lifestyle, roads, and usage patterns. The scooter carries features such as 14 inch wheels, crash guards, and front foot-pegs among others.

With five operating divisions (automotive, retail, real estate, healthcare, and financial services),  Al Futtaim Group is spread across more than 20 countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Paul Willis, President of Al Futtaim Automotive said, “We evaluated over 50 electric two-wheeler start-ups, and are impressed by the team’s vision and relentless commitment to in-house product development. I am confident that their products will see great success, in India and internationally.”

While the company is in its initial stage, it may pose competition to a clutch of players including poster boys: Ola Electric and Ather.

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