EV startup River raises $11M in Series A funding round from Lowercarbon Capital, Toyota Ventures

Bengaluru EV startup River will use the capital to expand its team, invest in R&D, set up a manufacturing facility, and get its first product ready for sale.

Bengaluru-based electric two-wheeler company River on Tuesday said it raised $11 million in a Series A funding round led by Chris Sacca's Lowercarbon Capital, in participation with Toyota Ventures.

The EV startup will use the capital to expand its team, invest in R&D, set up a manufacturing facility, and get its first product ready for sale. “We will be all set for mass production with this funding,” Aravind Mani, Co-founder and CEO, River, told YourStory.

Founded in 2020 by Aravind and Vipin George, River’s first product is a multi-utility electric scooter, entirely designed and built in India, which it plans to launch by the end of 2022 or early 2023.

Earlier in March 2021, the startup had raised a seed round of $2 million from Israel-based Maniv Mobility and San Francisco-based Trucks VC—mobility-focused global venture capital funds. To date, the startup has raised a total funding of $13 million.

River aims to set up a 120,000 sq ft manufacturing facility that can build 100,000 vehicles. According to the founders, the facility will open in the last quarter of this year.

The startup has an R&D team of over 100 engineers, and several of its prototypes are tested on roads for more than six months. It has completed an overall test drive of 50,000 kms and would reach 1.5 lakh km before it is launched.

Image Credit - River

In a statement, Aravind said, "We are grateful to have such great funds back us in our mission to make our cities cleaner and empower people through mobility. It is the validation of the capability of our team and the progress we have made in product development. We cannot wait to reveal what we have been building at River."

"Our first electric two-wheeler will be an important milestone for our journey as a company. We wanted to focus on a niche, and we decided to focus on the multi-utility aspect of a two-wheeler,” Vipin, Co-founder of River, told YourStory.

“We are very focused on utility and livelihood. River is conceived as a brand that creates, celebrates, and enables livelihood. This is the niche we want to go after in the Indian two-wheeler industry, and that's what sets us apart from the competition,” adds Aravind. 

"Three of four vehicles sold in India are two-wheelers, but what is available today have loud, dirty, gas-burning engines from last century. River's electric two-wheelers are the new go-to for Indian riders because they're faster, tougher, and just plain cooler than anything else on the market" said Chris Sacca,  Managing Partner of Lowercarbon Capital.

Jim Adler, Founding Managing Director, Toyota Ventures, said, "Two-wheeler vehicles are the foundation of mobility in India, and a huge worldwide market principally because they're so easy to navigate in congested urban environments. We think River will capture this massive opportunity by offering high-quality, affordable, and stylish all-electric two-wheeled vehicles for both consumer and commercial use."

Edited by Suman Singh


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