Electric scooter maker Ather Energy said it has raised $128 million in a funding round led by National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and existing investor Hero MotoCorp.
Tarun Mehta, co-founder of Ather Energy, told ET the funds will be used for expanding manufacturing facilities, to grow the company’s retail network, and for research and development and charging infrastructure. “The largest chunk of investment will go into investing in capacity – not just our own capacity but also that of the supply chain so that it can scale quickly,” Mehta said. “Overall, our components are fairly unique, so we have to make sure that our suppliers can invest for us. So a fair bit of capacity will go towards that.”
Mehta, who is also the CEO, did not disclose Ather’s valuation after the latest funding round but said the company is yet to reach $1 billion in value. Ather’s rival Ola Electric is valued at over $5 billion.
“Ather is considerably undervalued still… People are starting to discover real value gradually… In a way I take responsibility for that. As founders, around Covid-19 or just before Covid we got so focused on operations and fixing the nuts and bolts of this business that we decided we did not want to raise more capital,” Mehta said. “But now we feel like we have underfunded the business. I don’t completely regret it because some of the starvation has brought in ridiculous efficiencies and very high-quality decisions.”