Gurgaon-based Twenty Two Motors Pvt. Ltd, which is working on rolling out its first smart scooter, has secured $1.6 million (Rs 10.2 crore) in a pre-Series A round led by Ishwar Singh, chief executive of Haryana Group of Industries, a company statement said.
Farhaan Shabbir, former director at motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson, also participated in the round and joined the company as a founding member.
The company will use the funds to develop and test its prototype, hire across verticals and set up its factory, the press note quoted Vijay Chandrawat, co-founder and chief operating officer at Twenty Two Motors, as saying.
The company will roll out its first product in the first quarter of 2018.
Founded in August 2016 by Chandrawat and Parveen Kharb, Twenty Two Motors is currently in advanced stages of developing an affordable electric scooter that will be IoT (Internet of Things)-enabled and come with smart features, including GPS, a gyroscope and an accelerometer. While these features will make the vehicle theft-proof, data generated from IoT devices on the scooter—using data mining and artificial intelligence—will determine and analyse a user’s behaviour.
“Major hurdles of developing lithium-ion battery, a battery management system (BMS) and smart electronics have also been resolved,” said Kharb, who is the company's chief executive. The lithium-ion battery pack and BMS have been developed after factoring in Indian climatic conditions to optimise performance and prolong battery life, he added.
Besides, the user can use a mobile app to access the scooter remotely.
An instrumentation and control engineer by qualification, Kharb is an entrepreneur who has founded two other ventures, JMX Works and Qcd Engineering India Pvt. Ltd. Chandrawat, the other co-founder, is a computer science graduate from IIT Delhi and has earlier worked as a consultant with PwC India. Before co-founding Twenty Two Motors, he was the regional business head - online at furniture e-tailer Pepperfry.
A bunch of other players in the electric vehicle space have secured funding recently. Last month, Bangalore-based Emflux Motors Pvt. Ltd raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from a group of investors to make what it touted as India’s first electric sports bike.
In October last year, Hero Motocorp invested $30 million in Bangalore-based Ather Energy, which is, by and large, the most funded player in this segment, having raised more than $40 million till date. The company also counts Tiger Global and Flipkart founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal among its investors.
In May 2016, Coimbatore-based electric bike company Ampere Vehicles Pvt. Ltd raised a fresh round of funding from Infosys co-founder and former chief executive Kris Gopalakrishnan.
Last April, Tork Motorcycles, which claims to be building the country’s first electric motorcycle, raised angel funding from a group of investors led by Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati, co-founders of cab aggregator Ola.
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