Ratan Tata to invest in EV startup Tork Motors

Ratan Tata to invest in EV startup Tork Motors
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Reuters
14 Oct, 2019

Pune-based electric vehicle (EV) startup Tork Motors is raising an undisclosed amount in an angel round of funding from Ratan Tata, the chairman-emeritus of Tata Sons.

The funds raised will be used for the production and launch of T6X, Tork Motors’ upcoming electric motorcycle, a company spokesperson told TechCircle.

The T6X is an electrically-powered, high-performance motorcycle which will come equipped with TIROS (Tork Intuitive Response Operating System), an in-house technology offering. 

The technology solution will facilitate analysis and compilation of data for rides, power management, power consumption and range forecasts, said an official statement issued by Tork Motors. 

“In [the] last few years, there has been a sea of changes in the attitude towards electric vehicles. This industry is changing rapidly and I place good value on the sound logic and the approach that the team at Tork Motors has taken…,” said Tata.

Tork Motors is a high-performance electric vehicle and charging infrastructure manufacturing startup. It was founded in 2010 by Kapil Shelke, former chief technology officer at motorcycle racing team Zongshen.

“An investment by Ratan Tata is an endorsement of the long-held belief by us that the Indian auto sector is going through a phase of huge growth and transformation. Our business model is distinctively differentiated with an emphasis on an in-house development in technology and product advancement, with innovation at the core of our offerings,” said Kapil Shelke, founder and chief executive officer, Tork Motors. 

In October 2015, Tork Motors raised around $550,000 from a clutch of angel investors including Bhavish Aggarwal, co-founder of Ola, as per VCCEdge, a research platform owned by Mosaic Media Ventures, the company which also owns TechCircle.

In January 2018, the startup raised an amount under $100,000 from existing investor Bhavish Aggarwal and another Ola co-founder Ankit Bhati.

The following month, Pune-based conglomerate Bharat Forge acquired a 45% stake in Tork Motors for $4.66 million.

The EV manufacturing startup is an incubatee of the University of Pune’s Science and Technology Park. 

Tork Motors counts Gagankumar Goyal, founder of robotics startup ThinkLABS Technosolutions, Vibhore Goyal, co-founder at software services startup CoCubes Technologies, Sameer Nagpal, national head of institutions at CoCubes Technologies, Pranay Jivrajka, founding partner at Ola’s parent company ANI Technologies, Nitin Sethi, executive at CoCubes Technologies, Harpreet Grover, chief executive officer at CoCubes Technologies and Rajiv Sonigara, director at construction firm Devike Constructions & Developers as its existing investors.

Ratan Tata has invested in a number of startups over the years. In May, he helped raise an undisclosed amount for Ola Electric Mobility.

The Tata patriarch has invested in a bevy of other startups such as wearable devices startup GoQii, food-tech startup Idea Chakki and artificial intelligence startup Niki.ai.