Electric mobility start up, River has announced funds raised to $11 million (around Rs 88 crore) in a Series A round led by Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital, with participation from Toyota Ventures.
The electric 2-wheeler maker, operated by World of River Pvt. Ltd is looking to open a manufacturing facility by the end of this year, with a capacity of 100,000 units as it aims to enter the market by next year, Aravind Mani, co-founder of River said.
In addition to the manufacturing unit, the company plans to accelerate investment in research & development. Currently, River employs over 110 people primarily in engineering roles.
The Series A round brings River’s total funding figure to $13 million so far after the startup fetched $2 million from Israel-backed Maniv Mobility and San Fransisco-based Trucks VC in March 2021.
Mani has previously worked with companies like Ultraviolette Automotive, Manali Petrochemical, Tamil Nadu Petroproducts and Infosys. Vipin George, the other founder, has worked with Ultraviolette Automotive as design lead and with Honda R&D for over 8 years, according to their respective LinkedIn profiles.
Lowercarbon Capital is co-founded by veteran investor Chris Sacca, known for his early investments in Uber, Instagram, Twitter and Stripe.
Venture capital and private equity companies have invested $666 million across 24 deals in the Indian electric mobility industry this year so far, a joint report titled ‘Electrifying Indian Mobility’ by IVCA-EY-Induslaw recently said.
According to the report, the Indian electric vehicle (EV) industry saw 8x year-on-year growth in VC/PE investments, to $1.7 billion in 2021, from $181 million in 2020. Last year, EV registrations amounted to 330,000 units, a jump of nearly 3x from 2020.
Electric vehicle sales in the first quarter of 2022 have been at almost 110,000 units.
As of CY21, the report states, electric vehicles accounted for 1.1% of total vehicle sales and is now expected to account for 39% of total automotive sales by CY27, growing at a 68% CAGR over the next 5 years.
Buoyed by the industry’s prospects and the mandate to invest in clean technologies, private equity companies and venture capital funds are investing significant amounts in the Indian electric mobility space.
Last week, Ola Electric, the electric mobility arm of ANI Technologies Pvt. Ltd said it will invest $500 million to build a battery research and development (R&D) centre in Bengaluru.