Ather Energy is one of the biggest start-ups in the Indian auto industry, which started journey back in 2016
Today, Hero MotoCorp has announced an investment of Rs 84 crore (US $11 million) in Ather Energy. The latest finance push brings Hero MotoCorp’s shareholding in Ather to 34.58 percent. Prior to the fresh cash infusion, Hero MotoCorp’s shareholding in Ather Energy was 31.27 percent.
Hero MotoCorp has been associated with Ather since 2016 when it made its first investment as a part of Series B funding. The fund-raising measure had raised $27 million (Rs 202 crores) with Hero MotoCorp being a primary investor. The cash infusion was necessary to build a permeable charging infrastructure. Since the early days of the S340, Ather Energy has grown in many aspects.
In October 2016, Hero invested another Rs 180 crore for a 26-30 percent stake in Ather. By May 2019, that investment had grown to more than Rs 330 crore. The current investment is is an extension of Ather’s Series C funding in May 2019 that raised $51 million from multiple investors, led by former Flipkart CEO, Sachin Bansal.
Electric two wheeler/scooter market in India
The equity share increase is not altogether unexpected. While the country awaits an alignment of policies that boost EV adaption, manufacturers have already started making inroads. While electric cars are barely there, the electric scooter market is swelling. Traditionally, Hero MotoCorp is market leader when it comes to two-wheelers. But with sentiment softening towards environmentally sustainable options, Ather Energy proves to be just that.
Established manufacturers are free work with new tech based EV initiatives or are beginning work in-house. Either way, this development is dependent on a sizeable investment. Ather Energy has a distinct identity in the melee of new EV manufacturers with a solid backing from multiple investors.
Ather Energy is using funds for Ather 450X manufacturing, its currently solo offering in the market. Manufacturing will be increased to 100,000 units annually from a Hosur plant. Having started operations in Bangalore, and setting up the Ather Grid charging setups, the company then entered Madras. The company is headed to Hyderabad, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Coimbatore, and, other cities.
Hero Motorcorp and Electric Vehicles
Rajat Bhargava, Head of Emerging Mobility Business Unit (EMBU), Global Business & Strategy, Hero MotoCorp, said “We are excited to see the growth of Ather Energy in the recent years. We see immense potential for them to expand their market even further, especially given the likely growth of electric vehicles (EV) in the near future. In addition to our efforts of developing a robust external eco-system for EVs, we are also aggressively working on our internal EV program. Our aim is to provide accessible electric mobility to customers across the globe. Sustainability and clean, green environment remain central to our vision to be the future of mobility.”