River, a Bengaluru-based electric vehicle (EV) start-up, has raised $40 million in a Series B funding round led by Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. The company plans to use the funds to expand its distribution and service network, invest in research and development, and launch a second product in the next two years.
River’s first product: Indie
River was founded in March 2021 by Aravind Mani and Vipin George, with a vision to create a global utility-lifestyle brand by 2030. The company launched its first product, Indie, in October 2023. Indie is an electric scooter that offers a range of 120 km, a top speed of 85 kmph, and a battery life of 10 years. Indie is designed and developed at River’s R&D facility in Bengaluru and manufactured at its factory in Hoskote.
Indie has received positive customer feedback and has sold over 10,000 units so far. The company opened its first store in Bengaluru in January 2024 and plans to increase its production and sales volumes in the coming months. River aims to expand its operations to 10 cities, including Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Nagpur, by the end of this fiscal year. In the second phase, the company will extend its presence to 35 cities by March 2025 and 100 cities by March 2026.
Yamaha Motor leads the Series B round
River’s Series B round was led by Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., one of the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturers. Yamaha Motor has been investing in EV start-ups across the globe, such as Gogoro in Taiwan, Grab in Southeast Asia, and Bolt Mobility in the US. Yamaha Motor sees River as a strategic partner in the Indian EV market, which is expected to grow rapidly in the next decade.
Hajime “Jim” Aota, Chief General Manager of New Business Development Centre, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., said, “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.”
The round also saw participation from existing investors Al-Futtaim Automotive, Lowercarbon Capital, Toyota Ventures, and Maniv Mobility. River has raised a total of $60 million to date, making it one of the most funded EV start-ups in India.
River’s future plans: a second product and more
River plans to deploy the funds to scale its distribution and service network across the country and invest further in R&D. The company is working on a second product, which will be another electric scooter with different features and specifications. The company expects to launch the second product within two years.
Aravind Mani, Co-founder and CEO of 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.”
River believes that electric scooters have a huge potential in India, as they offer a cost-effective, eco-friendly, and convenient mode of transportation. The company claims that its products can save up to 90% of the running costs compared to petrol scooters. River also aims to create a positive social and environmental impact by reducing carbon emissions and creating employment opportunities.
River is competing with other EV start-ups in India, such as Ather Energy, Ola Electric, and Hero Electric, as well as established players like Bajaj Auto and TVS Motor. The company hopes to differentiate itself by offering superior design, technology, and customer experience.