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EV Start-up River Raises $11 Million In Series A Round

Chris Sacca's Lowercarbon Capital led the funding round, which saw the participation of Toyota Ventures

EV Start-up River Raises $11 Million In Series A Round
POSTED ON August 03, 2022 1:31 PM

Electric vehicle start-up River has raised $11 million in a Series A funding round led by Chris Sacca's Lowercarbon Capital. Toyota Ventures also participated in this round.

"Three of four vehicles sold in India are two-wheelers, but what's available today have loud, dirty, gas burning engines from last century. River's electric two-wheelers are the new go-to for Indian riders because they're faster, tougher, and just plain cooler than anything else on the market" said Chris Sacca, managing partner of Lowercarbon Capital, known for previous investments in early-stage technology companies like Twitter, Uber, and Instagram.

"Two-wheeled vehicles are the foundation of mobility in India and a huge worldwide market principally because they're so easy to navigate in congested urban environments," added Jim Adler, founding managing director of Toyota Ventures. "We think River will capture this massive opportunity by offering high-quality, affordable, and stylish all-electric two-wheeled vehicles for both consumer and commercial use."

Last March, Bengaluru-based River raised a seed round of $2 million from Israel-based Maniv Mobility and San Francisco-based Trucks VC. It has raised a total of $13 million in funding.

Aravind Mani and Vipin George founded River in 2020. They aimed to design and build a multi-utility electric scooter, which they hoped to launch by the end of 2022 or early 2023. The founders plan to use the newly raised funds to expand their team, invest in R&D, set up a manufacturing facility and get its first product ready for sale by early 2023.

Vrooming Into The Future

Eager to accelerate the adoption of EVs in the country, the Indian government has increased subsidies for electric two-wheelers made in the country. The Department of Heavy Industries is incentivising companies in this domain by doubling the cap for subsidies to 40% of the EV's price.

The sector has seen a lot of action recently, with the growing presence of more start-ups foraying into the space. Bengaluru-based EV start-up Ather Energy reported Rs 408.5 crore in revenue for FY21-22. This is a whopping 411.9 per cent growth over the Rs 79.8 crore revenue reported the previous year. Backed by Hero MotoCorp, Tiger Global Management, and Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal, it plans to establish 150 experience centres across 100 cities by March 2023.

Another Bengaluru-based EV start-up, Simple Energy, will retail its electric scooter, Simple One, in 13 cities across India by October. The company claimed that it has already received 65,000 pre-bookings for its vehicle, which will be produced at its Hosur manufacturing facility. 

Mobility platform Yulu has already made its presence felt in the country. Founded by ex-InMobi exec Amit Gupta, Naveen Dachuri, Hemant Gupta, and RK Misra in August 2017, the app-based electric scooter company plans to expand its fleet to one lakh units by the end of 2022. 

However, none have grabbed as much attention as Ola Electric from the house of ride-hailing unicorn Ola. This February, it claimed that its registration rate was around 20 vehicles a day, and even a few untoward accidents have not dented the interest in the start-up. 

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