So before you start wondering what is it that has been attracting such a sum, Ather Energy Pvt. Ltd. is an automobile manufacturing company founded in the year 2013 by IIT graduates-Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain. The team of about 40 employees is currently developing an electric two-wheeler, which will be a completely ‘Designed In India’ product that has been conceptualized, designed and engineered within the country.
Ather Energy received its first seed fund of US $1 million in late 2014 from Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, founders of Flipkart, and Raju Venkatraman of Medall Healthcare, which provided the initial impetus for Ather’s growth plans. The startup is currently designing a smart electric two-wheeler, and has received funding of US $12 million (Rs 75.33 crore) from Tiger Global. The new round of funding will be used for development, testing, production and the launch of Ather’s first smart electric two-wheeler – the Ather S340.
The Ather-S340 is a connected vehicle powered by lithium-Ion battery pack, featuring a digital touchscreen dashboard, has a light-weight aluminium chassis and offers a top speed of 75 kmph. It has been designed by Ather from ground-up and will be the first electric scooter to be completely designed & manufactured in India. Some of the features in the smart dashboard will enable users to create personalized profiles, choose riding modes and set other ride preferences. The S340 will also be one of the first connected vehicles in the country. This will ensure that all vehicle data is constantly logged and monitored enabling on-board diagnostics and issuing notifications for any maintenance.
Ather Energy is currently at an advanced stage of integration on the vehicle platform and testing of the functional prototype. Test rides are scheduled for October this year and the company is already seeing an increasing number of sign-ups for the same on their website. The Ather-S340 is planned for launch in Bangalore, Chennai and Delhi by early 2016.