Ather Energy was founded in 2013 by IIT Madras alumni, Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain. On the other hand, Flipkart was founded in 2007 by Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, who were both alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. There is barely any connection between these two statements and between these two groups of founders. However, fast forward to 2020, Ather Energy has raised an investment of USD 35 Mn in its latest round of Series D led by Sachin Bansal’s investment of a whopping USD 23 Million.
Interestingly, Ather Energy was one of the earliest start-up investments of Sachin Bansal, when he invested USD 0.5 Million in the firm as an Angel investor in 2014. At present, post this round, Sachin Bansal has made a total investment of USD 53 Mn in the start-up. But he is not the only investor, Hero MotoCorp has also invested USD 12 Mn as a part of the Series D round in Ather Energy. This not only shows the interest of the country’s biggest two-wheeler manufacturer in electric vehicles but also, these continued investments by the existing investors are a manifestation of confidence in the brand and the sector.
Ather Energy’s new line of products- Ather 450X and Ather 450 Plus, has been making news across the country. Ather Energy has been aggressively expanding, with the opening of 9 new markets – Pune, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Coimbatore, Kochi, Kozhikode, and Kolkata in the coming days, and the installation of Ather Grid in all the new cities. Also, to meet the projected demand in the coming years, Ather Energy is moving to a new manufacturing facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, which will be designed to produce up to 1 million vehicles a year. This round of investment will allow Ather Energy to accelerate its expansion plans and speed up the deliveries of the Ather 450X.
Apart from this, Ather Energy also unveiled their collector’s edition vehicle Series 1, which is the only two-wheeler with transparent panels in India, in September. The Series 1 vehicle has been designed for early owners of the vehicle with only a limited group eligible to purchase it. Also, to make the transition EVs even easier and pocket-friendly, in the past 6 months, Ather Energy has added multiple new financing plans, which includes- one of its kind Assured Buyback option for the Ather 450X and Ather 450 Plus, new lease and loan programs and a two-wheeler exchange plan. Ather Energy has also promised to begin deliveries of their smart electric scooters across India this Diwali.
Quote by Tarun Mehta, Co-founder & CEO, Ather Energy “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.”
Quote by Sachin Bansal “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.”
Ather Energy is presently backed by founders of Flipkart, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, Hero Motocorp, and Tiger Global. Ather Energy is also credited with the honour of launching India’s first truly intelligent electric scooter – Ather 450 in 2018, followed by their new flagship offering Ather 450X in 2020. Recently, the start-up has also installed a comprehensive public charging network, Ather Grid, built and designed in India. With 38 charging Points in Bengaluru and 14 charging Points in Chennai, Ather Grid is one of the largest fast-charging networks for electric vehicles in the country. Ather Energy currently operates in Bengaluru and Chennai and in 2020 expands to Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad as a part of a national expansion plan. Ather has also added multiple ownership and purchase options for consumers, which includes- petrol exchange, private leasing, monthly subscription, and model upgrades.