After showing its capabilities as a performance bike maker with the high-voltage launch of its new flagship, the Apache RR 310, TVS has now made a strategic investment that should bolster its EV programme. The Hosur-based two-wheeler manufacturer has picked up a 14.78 percent stake in Ultraviolette Automotive, a Bengaluru-based electric two-wheeler and energy infrastructure start-up. Ultraviolette Automotive was founded by Niraj Rajmohan (CTO) and Narayan Subramaniam (CEO) in December 2016, and the company currently comprises a 13-member team.
While not much is known about the start-up’s capabilities, it is understood that it has been testing various two-wheeler prototypes, battery packs, and other offerings. It's also got a third prototype running. TVS is said to be developing an electric scooter slated for a launch sometime around April 2018, and the new synergy could help with that programme.
TVS’s investment in EV start-ups is the latest in a line of such investments over the past year. The first big-ticket investment in a two-wheeler start-up was by Hero MotoCorp in Bengaluru-based Ather Energy. In October 2016, Hero MotoCorp took a 26-30 percent stake in Ather Energy, investing Rs 180 crore, which was the bulk of an overall Rs 205 crore investment from the bike maker.
The funding marked the third round of investments in Ather Energy, which is building the S340 – India’s first smart, electric scooter that's expected to launch soon. Previous rounds of investments in the start-up were by Tiger Global, and Sachin and Binny Bansal, promoters of Flipkart, in their personal capacity.
Earlier in 2016, Tork Motorcycles also raised funding of an undisclosed amount from a consortium led by Bhavish Agarwal and Ankit Bhati who jointly founded cab aggregator Ola.
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