Environment UAE firm leads $15m funding for Indian EV startup River By Pramod Kumar June 11, 2023 Al-Futtaim Automotive Al-Futtaim Automotive believes the Indian EV sector is skyrocketing, with Rive becoming the mainstream electric solution Dubai-based Al-Futtaim Automotive has led the $15 million investment round in the Indian electric two-wheeler startup River. The funding series will bolster River’s manufacturing and distribution networks for an August 2023 delivery kick-off in India, enabling the company to rapidly scale internationally. Paul Willis, president of Al-Futtaim Automotive, said the investment comes after the company evaluated over 50 electric two-wheeler startups. River launched its first product, ‘Indie,’ an urban electric scooter, last February. Al-Futtaim Automotive, which focuses on green mobility, recently launched Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility Company – the region’s first electric mobility-focused company. The Dubai-based company wants to develop the electric ecosystem in the country, with a strong portfolio of EV brands covering the full spectrum of mobility mix, charging solutions and innovative financial products. Aravind Mani, co-founder and CEO of Bengaluru-based River, said: “In just 20 months, we launched our first product, the Indie, which has by now successfully covered over 100,000 km in testing. Now we’ve set the base to build a billion-dollar business.” Founded in March 2021, River is backed by marquee investors such as Chris Sacca’s Lowercarbon Capital, Toyota Ventures, Maniv Mobility, and Trucks VC. The startup has secured $28 million in funding over the last 2.5 years and has invested over $12 million in product development with a research and development facility and a manufacturing facility in Hoskote, Karnataka. Al-Futtaim Automotive is one of five divisions within the Al-Futtaim Group, a conglomerate of motoring-related businesses. Operating in 10 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, the group’s services span the distribution of new and used vehicles, manufacturing, leasing, and aftersales.