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 Climate Change

Mobility
Published on: Aug. 3, 2022, 6:21 p.m.
Investments pour into River
  • River is competing with the likes of Ola Electric, Okinawa, Aether Energy and others in India’s fast-growing two-wheeler EV space

By Business India Editorial

Bengaluru-based electric mobility startup River has raised $11 million from investors, led by Lowcarbon Capital, a US-based VC fund by Chris Sacca, an early-stage investor in Twitter, Uber and Instagram. Toyota Ventures also participated in the funding round.

Citing the co-founder Aarvind Mani, a media report said that the EV startup will use the incoming funds to expand the team, invest in R&D and set up a manufacturing facility. More importantly, River plans to launch its first product early next year.

Founded in 2020 by Mani and Vipin George, River is competing with the likes of Ola Electric, Okinawa, Aether Energy and others in India’s fast-growing two-wheeler EV space. Mani was quoted in the report as saying that the startup is in talks to raise another $100 million and will raise the funds before it starts selling its two-wheelers.

The startup is building the scooter specifically for carrying loads. According to Mani, a large chunk of the Indian market buys two-wheelers to carry load. River claims that it is building an electric scooter to replace the ‘pick-up truck culture’ of the West, implying that the electric scooter will come with significant load-carrying capacity.

The startup will therefore also target another fast-growing segment within India: last-mile delivery.

However, noting that a person would not use the e-scooter solely for the purpose of delivery, Mani said, “They will not buy a product thinking that they will only use it for delivery, so we are kind of trying to see how we can create a product which can be used for multiple things.”

The electric mobility startup did not reveal any information about the vehicle, however, it has been working to set up a manufacturing facility. The report mentioned that River’s first production facility will be set up near Bengaluru, producing 10,000 vehicles a month. The startup also plans to run a distributor model with dedicated service points.

India saw a marginal increase in EV registrations in July, with Hero Electric topping the charts. While EVs are being touted as the future of mobility, consumer anxieties related to range, efficiency and the recent fire incidents have seen demand shrink for some of the EV players.

To sort out one of the most important issues with EVs, that is, the battery, the government introduced the PLI scheme for manufacturing advanced cell chemistry (ACC) in the country. 


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