Flipkart co-founders on a roll: Now, Bansals invest Rs 6 cr in electric vehicle start-up Ather

Continuing their buying spree, Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal have invested $1 million (Rs 6.1 crore at $1 = Rs 61) in Ather, a start-up focused on designing high-speed electric two-wheelers for the Indian market.<br />

FP Staff December 03, 2014 08:41:08 IST
Flipkart co-founders on a roll: Now, Bansals invest Rs 6 cr in electric vehicle start-up Ather

Continuing their buying spree, Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal have invested $1 million (Rs 6.1 crore at $1 = Rs 61) in Ather, a start-up focused on designing high-speed electric two-wheelers for the Indian market.

This funding round also includes investment from Raju Venkatraman, serial entrepreneur and CEO of MEDALL, Ather said.

Incubated and supported by the Incubation Cell at IIT Madras, Ather was started by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain in 2013 with a mission to accelerate the adoption of electrical vehicles in the country.

Ather said in a release that with a talented team of 15 engineers and designers, its key focus area is to develop technology to manufacture the best electric vehicles.

This round of funding, the start-up said, will be primarily used for product development.

Prior to this, Ather raised their first round of capital in February this year from Dr V Srinivas, founder of Aerospike, and the Technology Development Board, Government of India.

According to a report in VC Circle, Ather is building electric scooters that can 'out-accelerate' its petrol counterparts, and can be charged up over a lunch break. "The scooter, which is 20 per cent lighter than current petrol scooters, can speed at up to 75 kmph. It also has an Android dashboard and in-built navigation & theft prevention system," the report said.

"Sachin and Binny Bansal's focus on technology and reinvention aligns with that of the Team Ather. Electric vehicles are still at a very nascent stage in India and our aim is to develop and introduce efficient electric scooters which will benefit the country and help manage its resources more effectively," Mehta said.

"Growing Indian start-ups like Ather are using technology successfully to make a mark in this field. We believe the team has the right vision and approach and will be successful in giving India the next generation of impactful, technology-enabled products that will change the way we live," the Flipkart founders said in a joint statement.

The Flipkart co-founders have been on an investment spree ever since Flipkart's acquisition of Myntra in May. In June, Bansals, along with Saif Partners and other angel investors, participated in a $700,000 funding round for Touchtalent, a social networking site and platform for artists to sell their work.

A few weeks later, Binny Bansal invested in fashion-focused social network Roposo.

Bansals again invested in News in Shorts, which provides news in 60 words, in July. This was followed by an another investment in offline games start-up MadRat Games in November. The Bansals have also invested inZopper.com, a product and price discovery website.

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