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UAE firm leads $15m funding for Indian EV startup River

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.