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Electric bike startup Tork raises funding from Ola co-founders, others

tork_t6xTork Motorcycles, which claims to be building country’s first electric motorcycle, has raised an undisclosed amount in an angel round of funding from a group of investors led by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, co-founders of cab aggregator Ola Cabs.

A group of angels led by CoCubes CEO Harpreet Grover has also put money into the company in this round.

The Economic Times that first reported the development said the company will use the money mainly to set up a manufacturing unit in Pune.

An email sent to spokesperson for Tork seeking more clarity over the deal did not immediately elicit a response.

According to The Economic Times report, the motorcycle, named T6X, will have several value-added features such as GPS, storage, cloud connectivity and phone charging.

A part of the money will also go towards setting up charging units in four cities—Pune, Bengaluru, Gurugram or Delhi and Chennai.

The startup was launched in 2010 by Kapil Shelke, an alumnus of DY Patil College of Engineering. The firm was initially into electric motor racing circuit before entering the B2C space. It has represented India at various events like the Isle of Man TT and Snetterton (the UK) since 2007.

The firm will soon come up with its prototype and will roll out certification procedures. The motorcycle is expected to hit the market by the middle of this year. The company is also planning to build experiential showrooms for customers to have a feel of the motorcycle.

The electric two-wheeler space has seen a number of deals in the recent past. Coimbatore-based electric bike company Ampere Vehicles Pvt Ltd, which is backed by Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, had raised fresh funding from a number of angel investors last year.

Those who had invested in Ampere include Infosys co-founder and former CEO Kris Gopalakrishnan, Transport Corporation of India managing director Vineet Agarwal, Venk Krishnan of venture capital firm NuVentures and former Wipro executive Sudip Nandy.

Bangalore-based Ather Energy Pvt Ltd, which is designing electric scooters and is aiming to roll out its first product by this year, had raised a Series A round of funding from Tiger Global in May this year.

Hero Electric, part of the group which also makes Hero Cycles (separate from Hero MotoCorp), is one of the prominent players in the business. It had entered the market around a decade ago in a JV with UK-based e-vehicle tech firm Ultra Motors. It later scrapped its JV and bought Ultra out.

Another player is YO Bykes, run by public-listed firm Electrotherm.

Mahindra Group has a US-based venture GenZe involved in electric two-wheelers, which is separate from Mahindra Two Wheelers. Mahindra Group also sells electric cars through Mahindra Reva Electric Vehicles.

While Tork manufactures electric motorcycle, its peers make electric scooters.

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