Ratan Tata, the chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, currently on an investment spree, has invested an undisclosed amount in Ampere Vehicles Pvt Ltd., a Coimbatore-based electric vehicle start-up.
As per The Hindu, existing investor of the company, Forum Synergies has also invested money in this round. The money would be used to scale up operations and hire new talent for the company.
The company is selling electric vehicles and special purpose vehicles for the disabled. It also sells products under different brand names such as Angel, Bobo, Prince and V60 in few states, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
The company’s vehicles are part of a waste management project running for the last year and a half in the Kurudampalayam panchayat in Coimbatore.
Along with this, the company also designs and develops its own chargers, motors and controllers. It has developed its own method to revive old batteries. It also offers after-sales service.
Founded in 2008 by a women entrepreneur Hemalatha Annamalai, the company mainly focuses its business towards rural and semi-urban markets, but has expansion plans both in India and overseas. It had raised about Rs 20 crore from India’s Forum Synergies and Spain’s Axon Capital.
Hemalatha Annamalai, founder of the company, said,
“Our vehicles are designed to suit Indian rugged conditions and it was well appreciated by Mr. Tata. These equity investments are a vote of confidence on Ampere’s brand strength, market presence and product design capabilities.”
After retiring from as the chairman of Tata Sons in 2012, Ratan Tata is on a spree of investment. After his retirement, this investment marks his ninth known investment in the technology field and first investment in an automobile company.
Earlier this month, he invested an undisclosed amount of money in Ola, India’s one of the largest tax-hailing service. Prior to that, he has also invested in PayTM, Snapdeal, Xiaomi, etc.
Ampere will compete with Bangalore-based Ather Electric which is also working on an electric scooter. Their vehicle is expected to launch in 2016. Ather is backed by Sachin and Binny Bansal – founders of Flipkart.