Bengaluru-based electric vehicle start-up, Ather Energy has raised an additional ₹ 260 crore ($35 million) in its latest round of funding. The Series D round was led by Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal, who made a sizeable investment of ₹ 170 crore ($23 million), while Hero MotoCorp has further invested ₹ 89 crore ($12 million) in the firm. The Indian entrepreneur was one of the early investors in Ather Energy with a $0.5 million investment as an angel investor, which was followed by an investment of $32 million in Series C round of funding last year. The latest round increases Sachin Bansal's investment to a total of ₹ 392 crore ($53 million) and his stake by a sizeable margin. carandbike has reached out to Ather Energy to know more about the size of Bansal's stake in the company.
Speaking on the Series D round of funding, Tarun Mehta, Co-founder & CEO, Ather Energy said, "Electric vehicles are here to stay and Ather Energy 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 of our new product line, we are now looking forward to delivering the vehicles and seeing them across all cities. The pandemic has changed the landscape of personal transport and we hope that with high-performance alternatives available people will choose electric vehicles for their daily commute."
Speaking on his investment in Ather, Sachin Bansal said, "Ather Energy has set a new benchmark for intelligent electric bikes in the Indian automobile industry. Their new product line and expansion plans across the country will make EVs a part of the Indian landscape. Having been a part of the team since 2014, it's great to see their vision taking shape."
The investment comes at a time when Ather Energy is one the verge of commencing pan India operations. The company is all set to begin deliveries of the Ather 450X in Bengaluru and Chennai from next week, which will be followed by accepting full payments in cities like Mumbai, Hyderabad Ahmedabad, Pune, and Delhi. Deliveries in these cities will begin in the following weeks. Ather has confirmed that it plans to expand to nine new markets by March 2021 that also includes Coimbatore, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kolkata. Apart from the sales network, the brand is also establishing its charging infrastructure with the installation of the Ather Grid. Each new city will get at least 5-10 charging stations before operations commence.
Furthermore, Ather Energy is expected to begin production at the upcoming manufacturing facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, by the end of the year. The new plant will have an installed capacity of one million units per annum, ready to meet future demand. Ather says the latest round of investment will help the company accelerate expansion plans and speed up deliveries of the 450X. The start-up plans to expand to a total of 20 cities by the end of 2021.