Yamaha Motor Company invests in Indian electric two-wheeler start-up River
Bengaluru-based electric two-wheeler start-up, River has announced that the company raised $40 million (approx. ₹335 crore) in the latest Series B round of funding, led by Yamaha Motor Company. The Japanese two-wheeler giant has acquired a stake in River, alongside existing investors Al-Futtaim Automotive, Lowercarbon Capital, Toyota Ventures and Maniv Mobility also increasing their respective investments in the company.
Yamaha has maintained that the investment remains financial for now. In a statement, the company said that it was excited about Aravind Mani and Vipin George, founders of River, and their conviction in River.
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“We are impressed by the progress that River has achieved in such a short span of time, especially with the strong focus on design and technology. We are excited about the conviction that Aravind and Vipin have for River and how Yamaha can support the company to achieve this", says Hajime “Jim" Aota, Chief General Manager of New Business Development Centre, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
River unveiled its maiden electric offering - Indie electric scooter - last year, while sales of the River Indie commenced in October 2023. Dubbed as the SUV of electric scooters, the Indie has been fully designed and developed at River’s R&D facility in Bengaluru and manufactured at the facility in Hoskote, outside of the city. The first River dealership opened in Bengaluru in January this year and deliveries have commenced as well.
Aravind Mani, Co-founder and CEO - River, said, “The investment is a significant boost for our plan to build a billion dollar global utility-lifestyle brand by 2030. We have built a great base in R&D and manufacturing over the last two years and now, it's time to grow."
Vipin George, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer - River, said, “The collaboration with Yamaha will help us leverage the design and technology capability that we have built at River. I learned to ride on a Yamaha motorcycle and have been amazed by the highest levels of performance that they stand for. And now, Yamaha investing in River is quite a surreal feeling. I’m excited about what the partnership can achieve."
River says its latest Series B round of funding was oversubscribed and takes the cumulative fund raised by the start-up so far to $68 million (approx. ₹565 crore) since it began operations in March 2021. The company plans to use the fresh funding to scale up distribution and service network, as well as invest further into R&D for developing future lineup of products.
Paul Willis, CEO - Al-Futtaim Automotive, added, “It’s been a pleasure to watch River grow since our first investment in 2023. Indie made a strong debut in the Indian market and stands out from anything that is out there. We also see strong potential for Indie in many international markets. We are excited about the next phase of growth for River both inside and outside India."
The River Indie competes against offerings like the Ather 450X, Ola S1 Pro, Bajaj Chetak, and more. It’s noteworthy to mention that Yamaha does not have a presence in the electric mobility space in the country at the moment. It’s be interesting to see if both Yamaha and River expand their collaboration to share technologies and manufacturing insights in the future.