Ather - Building The Connected and Electrical Future Of Mobility

Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Mar 21, 2021 8 min read
Ather - Building The Connected and Electrical Future Of Mobility

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by the organization it is based on.

Fueling with electricity offers some advantages not available in conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. Because electric motors react quickly, EVs are very responsive and have very good torque. Electric Vehicles help reduce this threat because almost all India's electricity is produced from domestic sources, including coal, nuclear, natural gas, and renewable sources. EVs can also reduce the emissions that contribute to climate change and smog, improving public health and reducing ecological damage.

Ather Energy Pvt. Ltd. is an Indian electric vehicle company founded by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain in 2013. It manufactures the electric scooter Ather 450 and the Ather 450X. It has also established electric vehicle charging infrastructure Ather Grid.

Ather - Company Highlights

Startup Name Ather Energy
Headquarters Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Industry Automotive Electric vehicles
Founded 2013
Founders Tarun Mehta, Swapnil Jain
CEO Tarun Mehta
Area Served India
Website www.atherenergy.com

Ather - About and How it Works?
Ather - Logo and its Meaning
Ather - Founder and History
Ather - Mission
Ather - Recent News
Ather - Team
Ather - Business Model
Ather - Revenue and Growth
Ather - Funding and Investors
Ather - Competitors
Ather - Awards and Recognitions
Ather - Challenges Faced
Ather - Future Plans
Ather - FAQs

Ather - About and How it Works?

Ather Energy is a start-up focused on designing and selling premium electric two wheeler for the Indian market. Ather wants to change the perspective about electric vehicles by building high performance, zero maintenance and smart electric vehicles.

The company has manufactured two scooter models at present - 450 and 450X. They have also established an electric vehicle charging network called AtherGrid.

They own and operate their own experience centres (called AtherSpace) to give the customers a complete ownership experience. Theyโ€™ve recently launched the Ather 450X, which is set to hit 10 cities across India by the end of 2020.

Ather Energy's customers believe that electric vehicles will shape urban commute in the years to come. They choose to own the experience of a vehicle that is built from scratch, offers an unparalleled ride, and is powered by intelligence.

Ather - Logo and its Meaning

Ather Energy's Company Logo
Ather Energy's Company Logo

Every electrical circuit is different, but the two things that remain constant are: start- represented by the line and the stop- represented by the dot, in the circuit. This was much like Ather's long term goal of building a company which fundamentally believes in using runnable electric energy as the future of innovation.

Ather - Founder and History

Ather Energy was founded in 2013 by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain.

Founders of Ather energy
Founders of Ather energy

Ather began its journey in October 2013 at the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras Research Park. Mehta and co-founder Swapnil Jain both IIT-M alumni (BTech & MTech batch of 2012 in engineering design) had set out to build Indiaโ€™s first smart electric scooter. They had brief stints at Ashok Leyland and General Motors respectively.

Mehta recalls the support of R. Krishnakumar, a professor at the Department of Engineering Design at IIT-Madras. โ€œIf a professor says, โ€˜Leave your job and come back; we will take care of everything,โ€™ I think that is a great morale boost,โ€ says the Ather CEO.

โ€œFor the first five-six months, we literally camped out of the department. We were just hanging around in his labs and other department labs before we sort of reached a conclusion that โ€˜This seems interesting and we should actually start a company and build a product.โ€™ It was a very important phase and he was super supportive then.โ€

In December 2014, Flipkart founders, Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal invested $1 million as the seed capital. Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal expressed a positive sentiment towards the company and showed inclination towards energy-efficient vehicles.

In December 2019, Ather Energy signed a MoU with Government of Tamil Nadu to set up a 400,000 sq. ft. manufacturing plant for electrical vehicles in Hosur. The invested amount will be around โ‚น635 crore.

The company added two new products to its portfolio, the Ather 450X & the Ather 450 Plus in January 2020. The Ather 450X is a premium electric scooter built from ground up by Ather. A step above the Ather 450 both in features and performance, the Ather 450X has been meticulously designed to redefine the two-wheeler riding experience in India.

Ather - Mission

Ather's mission statement says, "At Ather, we want to build the future of mobility โ€“ one that is connected and electric. We truly believe electric is inevitable, thereโ€™s never been a better time. Intelligent vehicles are revolutionizing our commute experience, and the Ather 450 and 450X are at the cusp of this exciting reality. We are also in the midst of exploring the energy chain, including storing and distribution domains."


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Ather - Recent News

  • Electric scooter manufacturer Ather Energy announced the launch of Ather 450X in 16 more cities in India, as part of its phase-2 expansion.
    These cities are Mysore, Hubli, Jaipur, Indore, Panaji, Bhubaneshwar, Nasik, Surat, Chandigarh, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Guwahati, Nagpur, Noida, Lucknow and Siliguri.
  • Ather Energy has opened the full payment window for 450 Plus and 450X from October 31 for customers of Bangalore and Chennai, and the scooters will be delivered within three weeks of payment, the company said.
  • Electric scooter start-up Ather Energy has announced the launch of a new home charging point - Ather Dot, for its Ather 450 customers.

Ather - Team

  • Tarun Mehta - Co-founder & CEO
  • Swapnil Jain - Co-founder
  • Sunitha Lal - Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Deepak Jain - CFO
  • Arun Vinayak - Chief Product Officer & Founding Partner

Ather - Business Model

The company has announced an online-only purchase model for selling the product with doorstep service. It had set up its manufacturing unit in Whitefield, Bangalore which commenced production in 2018 with capacity of 600 vehicles per week. The company has disclosed the price of the Ather 450 to be โ‚น113,715 .

It also establishes Ather Grid, an electric vehicle charging infrastructure in cities it is present in. The company has set up over 38 fast charging points in Bengaluru and 14 charging points in Chennai as of July 2020.

Ather will be setting up its new 400,000sq ft. facility in Hosur, Tamil Nadu by the end of 2020. The new facility will be designed to produce 100,000 units annually, and is scalable to half a million units.


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Ather - Revenue and Growth

  • Ather Energy's estimated annual revenue is currently $212.2M per year.
  • Ather Energy's estimated revenue per employee is $330,000

The Hero MotoCorp-backed startup recorded over 8x growth in its operating revenue from INR 4.2 Cr in 2019 to INR 35.3 Cr in the year ended March 30, 2020. The company last raised INR 84 Cr from Hero MotoCorp in July 2020, which increased the auto giant's stake in Ather to 34.58%.

Ather - Funding and Investors

Ather Energy has raised a total of $102.2M in funding over 5 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Jul 24, 2020 from a Series C round. Ather Energy is funded by 5 investors. Hero MotoCorp Ltd and Sachin Bansal are the most recent investors.

Date Round Amount Lead Investors
Jul 24, 2020 Series C $11.2M Hero MotoCorp Ltd
May 28, 2019 Series C $51M Sachin Bansal
Oct 27, 2016 Series B $27M Hero MotoCorp Ltd
May 29, 2015 Series A $12M Tiger Global Management
Dec 3, 2014 Seed Round $1M -

Ather - Competitors

The top 10 competitors in Ather Energy's competitive set are GoGreenBOV, Ampere, Okinawa Scooters, AVERA, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, TVS, Pure EV, Tork Motors Pvt.

Ather - Awards and Recognitions

  • The Economic Times Start-up Awards, The Economic Times, 2016
  • Most Promising Startup Impacting Automotive, IoT Next, 2016
  • India Electric Mobility Technology Innovation Leadership Award, Frost & Sullivan, 2016

Ather - Challenges Faced

Ather stands high and tall in the growing space with a DNA going back to research labs, a design built from scratch and a product that can 80% be traced to custom spec sheets. Will that give it customers and success as a scooter company? Time will tell. But its 56-month journey is all about learnings, sucker punches, small wins, big bets, uncharted paths, and an early positioning in a market that holds promise.

โ€œThe biggest challenge and opportunity when you are building an electric vehicle in India is that there is no local ecosystem and that includes not just vendors but also talent among other things. We completely missed out on this when we started the company and thatโ€™s why our timelines started looking different. The amount of money started looking very different as we got more and more into it,โ€ says Tarun Mehta, CEO of Ather Energy.

Ather - Future Plans

According to Mehta, the big challenge that now lay ahead of them was how to not make Ather feel like a boring automotive company keeping the culture and excitement alive while still bringing in the rigors and discipline that they need to get a world-class hardware product out.

With the factory plant in Whitefield, Bengaluru the company is ready to begin production and the orders coming in. Ather is getting ready with the first lot of production.

โ€œThe first lot planned is for 2,000 vehicles and over a yearโ€™s time, the production planned is 10,000 vehicles. Based on the supply chain constraints, we will have to decide the batch size of production,โ€ says Jain, adding next will be ramp up both in sales and the product map. โ€œWhen you do a new product, it is not very easy to assembleโ€ฆ manufacturing challenges will pop up. So, we will improve product from that perspective to be able to ramp up really fast.โ€

The team has begun work on developing a new vehicle platform that it says will be more scalable. It is slated to be ready by the 2020-21 timeframe. He wonโ€™t part with much financial detail, but according to Mehta, the 50,000 units sales mark is when on a per unit basis, the company ought to be able to break even. The challenge for electric two-wheeler companies, though, will be to attract new customers.


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Ather - FAQs

What is Ather Energy?

Ather Energy is a start-up focused on designing and selling premium electric two-wheeler for the Indian market.

Is Ather an Indian company?

Yes

Where is the headquarter of Ather Energy?

Ather Energy's headquarter lies in Bangalore, Karnataka.

Who founded Ather Energy?

Ather Energy was founded in 2013 by Tarun Mehta and Swapnil Jain.

What companies do Ather compete with?

The top 10 competitors in Ather Energy's competitive set are GoGreenBOV, Ampere, Okinawa Scooters, AVERA, Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, TVS, Pure EV, Tork Motors Pvt.

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