Chennai-based Ather Energy Pvt Ltd, a vehicle startup focused on designing high-speed electric two-wheelers for the Indian market, has secured $1 million in funding from Flipkart co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal (not related), with participation from Raju Venkatraman, a serial entrepreneur and CEO of Medall Healthcare. The capital from this round will be primarily used for product development.
"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," said Tarun Mehta, co-founder of Ather.
"Sachin and Binny Bansal are leaders who have put India's e-commerce industry on the global map through disruptive use of technology. Their focus on technology and reinvention aligns with that of Team Ather," he added.
Ather was started in 2013 by IIT Madras alumni Mehta and Swapnil Jain. With a team of 15 engineers and designers, Ather's key focus area is to develop technology to manufacture electric vehicles. Ather is currently engaged in full-vehicle design and testing.
The company claims it 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 two-wheeler also features a Lithium-ion battery pack with integrated digital battery management system, designed in-house by Ather.
Ather had previously raised an undisclosed amount in first round of capital from Aerospike's founder V Srinivas and the Technology Development Board of the Government of India, in February this year.
"We believe that the world is moving towards a smarter, more energy-efficient and environment-friendly approach in our daily lives. Growing Indian startups like Ather are using technology successfully to make a mark in this field," said the Bansals.
"The Asther 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. We wish team Ather all the best for this project," they added.
Last month, Sachin and Binny backed Bangalore-based offline gaming products startup MadRat Games Pvt Ltd.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)