TVS Motor Company writes $4 mn cheque for EV maker Ultraviolette Automotive

TVS Motor Company writes $4 mn cheque for EV maker Ultraviolette Automotive
Photo Credit: 123RF.com
3 Sep, 2020

Returning investor TVS Motor Company has invested Rs 30 crore ($4 million) in an ongoing Series B funding round in Bengaluru-based electric bike maker Ultraviolette Automotive, and increased its stake in the startup to 29.48%.

The startup said it plans to use the fresh capital for its next phase of development, which includes testing and mass production of its electric bike, F77.

It is also in talks with other investors for follow-on investments in the Series B round, a statement said.

Ultraviolette Automotive last raised funds two years ago, when TVS Motor Company invested Rs 6 crore (about $860,000 as per exchange rates then) in a Series A funding round. TVS also invested Rs 5 crore in the startup in December 2017 for a 14.78% stake.

Incorporated in December 2016, Ultraviolette was founded by Narayan Subramaniam and Niraj Rajmohan. The company set out to build a high-performance electric motorcycle, the F77, three years ago and unveiled the pre-production version of the vehicle in November 2019. The motorcycle is set to be launched next year.

“The F77 was conceived with a single-minded purpose of creating an identity for electric mobility in India, and TVS Motor Company has been a strategic partner in this journey... We have spent the past few months making critical enhancements, both on the design and technology side, to make the F77 more efficient, responsive and powerful,” Rajmohan said.

The F77 is high-end technology and a high performance-oriented motorcycle built with principles used in the aviation industry, from the advanced engineering simulations, multi-level safety systems to the design identity of the motorcycle, he said. 

It is a smart and connected electric motorcycle that comes with remote diagnostics over-the-air (OTA) upgrades, regenerative braking, multiple ride modes, bike tracking and ride diagnostics, he added. 

TVS Motor’s bigger rival Hero MotoCorp holds a stake in electric two-wheeler startup Ather Energy, which has raised $91 million so far. In May 2019, it received fresh capital in a Series C funding round led by Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal. 

Other startups in the segment include Ampere Vehicles, Emflux Motors and Tork Motorcycles.