Sachin Bansal, Hero MotoCorp back e-scooter startup Ather Energy again; invest in Series D round

Sachin has also been among the prolific startup investors in the country. (File)

Smart electric scooter startup Ather Energy has raised $35 million in its Series D round of funding from its existing investors Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal and Hero MotoCorp, the company announced on Saturday. While Sachin put in $23 million, the rest $12 million came from Hero MotoCorp. Sachin had first backed Ather Energy in its seed round back in December 2014 along with his fellow Flipkart co-founder Binny Bansal. He had later invested in the startup last year with a $32 million investment in the $51 million Series C round. On the other hand, Hero MotoCorp had earlier backed Ather Energy in its Series B round in 2016 and further in 2019 and earlier this year in Series C round. Sachin — a celebrated technology entrepreneur in India has also been among the prolific startup investors in the country has made 19 investments, according to Crunchbase, in companies including U Gro Capital, Ola, Vogo, Kissht, Bounce, Boat, Unacademy, SigTuple, and more.

“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,” Sachin said in a statement. “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,” said Tarun Mehta, Co-founder and CEO, Ather Energy.

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Ather Energy had last month announced that it would set-up 135 fast-charging stations in India by 2020 end following 37 stations in Bengaluru and 13 in Chennai. The charger can power up Ather’s 450X electric scooter at a rate of 15 km in 10 minutes. The company intends to set up 6,500 charging stations by 2022 in the country.

The number of electric two-wheelers was likely to cross 26 million units in 2030 in India, according to Statista. India sold around 30,000 electric two-wheelers in FY2018 even as the sales have doubled over the past four years. Ola, which had acquired the Amsterdam-based electric scooter company Etergo BV, is looking to launch its e-scooter next year. The company reportedly has plans to foray into electric scooter manufacturing that would make Ola an automobile manufacturer too and not just an online transport company. Hero Electric, Okinawa, Ampere Vehicles, Revolt Motors, Tork Motors and more among the existing players in the burgeoning electric two-wheeler segment in India.

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