Ather Energy, an India-based electric two-wheeler company, announced Thursday the completion of its Series E round of funding with signing of investment agreements amounting to $128 million with National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Limited’s (NIIFL) Strategic Opportunities Fund (SOF), and Hero MotoCorp.

Ather Energy said in a statement that it plans to use the funding to expand manufacturing facilities, invest in research and development, charging infrastructure and to grow its retail network.

After a strong start to the year, the company registered the highest ever monthly sales in April delivering 3,779 units to customers. Booking orders for its flagship product the Ather 450X is growing at 25 percent quarter-on-quarter.

Ather Energy already has a robust retail sales network across the country, with presence in 32 cities with 38 experience centres and aims to expand to 150 experience centres in 100 cities by 2023.

“The switch to electric is inevitable and FY22’ was the turning point for electric two-wheeler adoption in India…The current round of investment will help us enhance capacities across the board, bring additional focus on new platforms, expand into new geographies, expand our fast-charging network and double down on the reputation we’ve built for making a product that’s high on quality,” said Tarun Mehta, Chief Exeuctive Officer of Ather Energy.

According to the statement, this will be NIIFL’s first direct investment in the manufacturing sector and in electric mobility, both areas of national importance given India’s green mission and decarbonisation goals. The investment enables NIIFL to play a role in mainstreaming the electric two-wheeler sector in India at an early stage of development and to support first generation local entrepreneurs in building a new product with a high level of indigenisation.

This will also be SOF’s fourth investment following its investments in two infrastructure financing NBFCs (Aseem Infrastructure Finance and NIIF IFL) and a national healthcare chain (Manipal Hospitals).

“Aligned to India’s green transition mission, the electric two-wheeler industry is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. Ather Energy has indigenously designed and developed products with a high degree of domestic sourcing of components and adaptability to Indian conditions,

“We are excited to partner with Ather Energy’s founders and management team who have developed deep expertise in the industry, developed a robust IP portfolio, and built strong manufacturing and distribution capabilities. We are also impressed with Ather Energy’s partnerships for component manufacturing, charging infrastructure and customer financing,” said Padmanabh Sinha, Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer of NIIFL.

Founded in 2013 by IIT Madras alumni, Tarun Mehta, and Swapnil Jain, Ather Energy is India’s foremost electric two-wheeler brand. In 2018, the company launched India’s first truly intelligent, electric scooter – Ather 450, followed by their new flagship offering Ather 450X in 2020.

Ather Energy has, over the years, built a robust portfolio of more than 250 designs, trademarks and patents and has further made trademark filings in more than 20 countries. It has also installed a comprehensive public charging network, Ather Grid, designed and built-in India. With 310+ charging points across India, Ather Grid is one of the country’s largest fast-charging networks for electric scooters.

Ather Energy currently operates in 32 cities including Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Jaipur, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Mysore, Guwahati, and Hubli. It is backed by the founders of Flipkart -Sachin Bansal & Binny Bansal, Hero Motocorp and Tiger Global.

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