Marking his 10th investment in the technology space since retiring as executive chairman of Tata Sons in 2012, Ratan Tata has now invested an undisclosed amount in a Coimbatore-based electric vehicle start-up company.
Tata's investment comes just days after he tied up with Google and Intel to launch the 'Internet Saathi' programme to bring the internet to more women in rural India and a week after he invested in taxi sharing app Ola. In the last one year, he has invested in a slew of consumer Internet companies such as Snapdeal, Paytm, UbranLadder and Xiaomi.
Ampere manufactures economical electric scooters, e-cycles, e-three wheelers, customised e-vehicles for the differently-abled, and EV chargers. It currently has dealers in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The firm focuses on rural areas as farmers use two-wheelers to transport chicken feed, eggs and grains.
According to a report in the Hindu, Ampere's existing investor Forum Synergies has also put money in this round. So far, the company has been funded by Forum Synergies and Spain's IMI Investments.
The start-up, founded by Hemalatha Annamalai, will use the funds to scale up operations and hire talent over two years. Annamalai, a computer software engineer from Government College of Technology (Coimbatore) and an MBA from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Australia), started Ampere in 2008. She pooled in personal savings of around Rs 10 crore to start the venture.
“Our vehicles are designed to suit Indian rugged conditions and it was well appreciated by Mr. Tata,” Hemalatha Annamalai, who founded the company, told Hindu.
Ampere Vehicles was named after the Scientist André-Marie Ampère who theorized the science of classical electromagnetism. Most of the 19th century innovations and developments in the field of magnetism and electricity were based on this concept. The unit of measurement of electric current, A (amp or ampere), is named after him. And since Ampre's vehicles function on batteries, it decided to take up the scientist's name.
Updated Date: Jul 08, 2015 12:09 PM