Indian e-scooter maker Ather raises $108 million from Hero MotoCorp, GIC

BENGALURU (Reuters) -India’s Ather Energy has raised 9 billion rupees (about $108 million) from shareholders Hero MotoCorp and Singaporean sovereign wealth fund GIC through a rights issue, the electric scooter maker said on Wednesday.

Ather, which sells two e-scooter variants and maintains 1,500 charging grids across the country, said it plans to use the funds to launch new products and expand its charging network.

Hero MotoCorp, India’s biggest two-wheeler maker by volume and which has a 33.1% stake in Ather, had on Monday approved an investment of up to 5.50 billion rupees in the e-scooter maker. It said its revised stake would be determined after the fundraising concludes.

GIC’s stake was not immediately clear and the statement from Ather did not mention a valuation. As of January last year, the e-scooter maker had raised about 12 billion rupees since its inception in 2013.

The latest fundraise comes as sales of electric vehicles (EVs) are growing rapidly in the world’s third-largest auto market, with the government pushing for two-wheeler EVs to account for 70% of all two-wheeler sales by 2030, from 14% currently.

Just last month, Ola Electric, India’s largest e-scooter maker, launched two models, which were its cheapest offerings so far. ($1 = 83.1243 Indian rupees)

(Reporting by Aditi Shah in Delhi, Writing by Hritam Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Sohini Goswami)