Yamaha Motor Company, one of the top two-wheeler manufacturers in the world, has invested in the Indian electric manufacturer River, giving it a substantial boost. A total of USD 40 million (approximately Rs 333 crore) was invested in the Bengaluru-based company's Series B round, including contributions from current investors Al Futtaim Group, Lowercarbon Capital, Toyota Ventures, and Maniv Mobility. The Japanese motorcycle giant contributed over USD 20 million, or roughly 60 per cent, of the total. River has now raised USD 68 million (about Rs 565 crore) in total since it began operations in March 2021 thanks to this round. The firm currently operates a single outlet in Bengaluru, which opened last month and more will be added throughout 2024, beginning in southern India. With the funds, the company intends to increase R&D expenditures for the upcoming product lineup and expand its nationwide distribution and service network. River had previously stated that it aims to produce 5,000 units per month by 2025.
Yamaha and River Comment
According to Yamaha, the investment remains financial for the time being. The company expressed its excitement about River's founders, Aravind Mani and Vipin George, and their belief in the brand in a statement.
Hajime ‘Jim’ Aota, Chief General Manager of New Business Development Centre, Yamaha Motor Co. commented, “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.”
Aravind Mani, Co-Founder & CEO, River remarked, “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.”, said Aravind Mani, Co-founder and CEO of River.
Vipin George, Co-Founder & 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”.
Paul Willis, CEO, AI-Futtaim Automotive stated, “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.”
River Indie Electric Scooter: Key Details
At a pre-launch price of Rs 1.25 lakh, River debuted its first product, the Indie electric scooter, in February 2023. According to the most recent vehicle registration data on the VAHAN portal, deliveries of Indie scooters started late in 2023 and the firm has delivered around 150 scooters in Bengaluru to date. The model carries a price tag of Rs 1.38 lakh (ex-showroom). For the uninitiated, the entire Indie design and development process took place at the River R&D centre in Bengaluru, and the product was manufactured at the Hoskote factory.
Mechanically, the River Indie is powered by a 4kWh IP67-rated battery pack with a stated real-world range of 120-kilometre. The scooter's mid-mounted engine generates around 9bhp of maximum power and 26Nm of peak torque, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 40km/h in 3.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 90km/h. As per the manufacturer, the EV's battery can be charged from 0 to 80 per cent in five hours using a standard charger. The scooter also includes a five-year, 50,000-mile warranty on both the motor and the battery.
Regarding features, the e-scooter comes with two USB charging ports: one on the handlebar and one in the glove box. It further offers plenty of options for storing additional luggage along with three riding modes: Rush, Ride, and Eco. Additionally, there's an all-LED lighting setup and a coloured LCD dash. Lastly, the Ather 450S, the Bajaj Chetak Premium, the TVS iQube S, and the Ola S1 Pro make up the list of Indie's direct competitors in the market.