Ather Energy, a leading manufacturer of electric two-wheelers, has raised USD128 million in series-E funding from government-owned National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited’s (NIIFL) Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF), along with existing shareholder Hero MotoCorp, and other investors. The company intends to use the funds to invest in research, expand manufacturing facilities, grow its retail network, and invest in charging infrastructure.
Including the current round of funding, Ather Energy’s total funding now stands at USD286 million, against a valuation of USD591 million, according to sata from research firm Tracxn. In addition to Hero MotoCorp, Ather Energy is also backed by the founders of Flipkart – Binny and Sachin Bhansal -, and Tiger Global.
In October 2021, the company had raised USD17.3 million as conventional debt from Hero MotoCorp. Prior to that, in November 2020, Hero MotoCorp and Sachin Bansal had invested USD35.1 million in Ather Energy as series-D funding.
Ather clocks highest sales in 2022
In its’ highest ever monthly sales, Ather Energy had sold 3,779 units in April of 2022, amid strong bookings for its flagship product the Ather 450X electric scooter. Sales grew by 25 percent quarter on quarter.
CEO of Ather Energy, Tarun Mehta said that the new round of investment will allow the company to focus on new platforms and expanding into new geographies while expanding its fast-charging network. He added that FY-22 was the turning point for electric two-wheeler adoption in India.
For NIIFL, a government sovereign fund, this is the first direct investment in the manufacturing sector and electric mobility. NIIFL manages equity capital commitments worth over USD4.3 billion across its three fundsm, which are Master Fund, Fund of Funds and the Strategic Opportunities Fund.
This marks the fourth investment for SOF after investments in two infrastructure Non Banking Financial Institutions, and healthcare provider Manipal Hospitals.
Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of NIIFL, said that Ather Energy has indigenously designed and developed products with a high level of domestic component sourcing and adaptable to Indian conditions. He also added that the electric two-wheeler industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
The company was founded in India in 2013 by IIT Madras alumni Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain. The company has a presence in 32 cities, with 38 experience centres, with plans to expand to 150 experience centres in 100 cities by the year 2023.
Aside from its flagship products, the 450 Plus, and the 450X, the company is planning to launch two new models in this range. One model is expected to be a long-range model of the 450X, while the other model is expected to carry some upgrades. The two models are expected to reach the market by the end of 2022 or beginning of 2023.