Bengaluru-based electric scooter manufacturer Ather Energy has raised Rs 84 crore in a fresh investment by Hero MotoCorp, as an extension of its Series C round that was led by Sachin Bansal. Hero MotoCorp has been a part of Ather’s growth story since 2016, when they first invested as a part of Series B.
With the funding, Ather is now entering an aggressive expansion phase on the back of its flagship product, the Ather 450X, and is looking to scale to 20 cities by the end of 2021. The Ather 450X will soon be available in cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Delhi, and Mumbai, with deliveries beginning in October 2020.
Tarun Mehta, Co-founder and CEO, Ather Energy, said, "We are in a high growth phase of our journey, and while the last few months have been challenging, we have not altered our expansion plans. Our geographic expansion and the roll-out schedule for the Ather 450X are on track, and we will be using these funds to invest in our facilities to meet the demand we have seen for the Ather 450X across the country."
To meet the projected demand in the coming years, Ather said it is opening a new manufacturing facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu, which is designed to produce 100,000 units annually, and is scalable to half-a-million units. The startup will also set up Ather Grid fast charging points across the country over the next five years, making public charging easy and accessible to all electric vehicle owners.
The company recently introduced India's first personal lease programme for scooters, with monthly payments as low as Rs 2,589. It claims to have also been a pioneer in the post-sales experience innovation with subscription plans, Ather One — a one-stop daily usage solution that includes doorstep pick up and delivery service, 24x7 roadside assistance, free charging at home and in public places, etc.
According to Ather, a unique aspect of its product line is the ability to add new features and functionality through over-the-air (OTA) software updates. Ather has been rolling out OTA updates since September 2018, adding features like a dark theme, new ride modes, and guide-me-home light — making them one of the fastest iteration cycles in the country, the company stated.