Tiger Global invests $12M in Ather Energy
Ather Energy, a Bangalore based start-up, that is currently designing a smart electric two-wheeler, 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.
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“Ather Energy aims to build smart, connected electric vehicles of the future. We want to offer the Indian consumer a completely new driving experience by developing a product that would be at par with any petrol or electric two-wheelers available in the market today. This investment will help us continue to evolve our product and scale it towards launch. We are very excited with the interest shown by Tiger Global and all our investors”, said Tarun Mehta, CEO and co-founder of Ather Energy.
Ather had 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.
Lee Fixel from Tiger Global said, “We are impressed with Ather’s vision of building smart electric vehicles that has a potential to revolutionise the driving experience. We see great potential in Ather’s product offering and the technology and are confident that their maiden launch will attract tremendous positive response. We look forward to partnering with the Ather team and bring their vision to fruition.”
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 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.
Ather Energy is the brainchild of IIT-Madras graduates Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain. The idea of developing a smart electric two-wheeler which would compete with the best in the market was incubated in 2013, at their alma mater’s Engineering Design Department under the mentorship of Prof. Krishna Kumar and later under the Incubation Cell at IIT Madras.