Electric two-wheeler maker Ather Energy on Thursday said it has raised USD 128 million (around Rs 991 crore) from National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited's (NIIFL) Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF) and Hero MotoCorp along with additional investors. This marks the completion of the company's Series E round of funding, Ather Energy said in a release.
The company said it plans to use the funding to expand manufacturing facilities, invest in research and development, charging infrastructure and to grow its retail network. "The switch to electric is inevitable and FY 22' was the turning point for electric two-wheeler adoption in India. We are super excited to have NIIF come on board as an investor.
They have been at the forefront of the country's green transition through their investments and initiatives, and we look forward to our association," said Tarun Mehta, CEO at Ather Energy. "We would also like to thank Hero MotoCorp, our long-term investor and strategic partner who continues to support our growth.
"The current round of investment will help us enhance capacities across the board, bring additional focus on new platforms, expand into new geographies, expand our fast-charging network and double down on the reputation we've built for making a product that's high on quality," he added. Ather Energy announces completion of its Series E round of funding with signing of investment agreements amounting to USD 128 million, the company said in the release.
Ather Energy said after a strong start to the year, it registered the highest ever monthly sales in April this year, delivering 3,779 units to customers. Booking orders for flagship Ather 450X scooter are growing at 25 per cent quarter-on-quarter, it said, adding, Ather Energy already has a robust retail sales network across the country, with presence in 32 cities with 38 Experience Centres. It aims to expand to 150 Experience Centres in 100 cities by 2023, the company said. This will be NIIFL's first direct investment in the manufacturing sector and in electric mobility, both areas of national importance given India's green mission and decarbonisation goals, according to the release.
"Aligned to India's green transition mission, the electric two-wheeler industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years... We are also impressed with Ather Energy's partnerships for component manufacturing, charging infrastructure and customer financing," said Padmanabh Sinha, Executive Director & Chief Investment Officer - NIIFL.
The investment enables NIIFL to play a role in mainstreaming the electric two-wheeler sector in India at an early stage of development and to support first generation local entrepreneurs in building a new product with a high level of indigenization, it stated. At the same time, this will be SOF's fourth investment following its investments in two infrastructure financing NBFCs (Aseem Infrastructure Finance and NIIF IFL) and a national healthcare chain (Manipal Hospitals), the release said.