Yamaha Invests $40 Million in River Mobility, Transforming Scooters into SUVs

By News From 360

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Bengaluru-based startup River Mobility has attracted major attention and investment from Japanese motor company Yamaha for its innovative electric scooters designed like SUVs. Yamaha led River’s oversubscribed $68 million Series B funding round with a $40 million investment, signalling Yamaha’s confidence in River’s potential. This new funding will further River’s rapid manufacturing, distribution, and product development growth.

Yamaha Signs On as Key Investor

River Mobility captured Yamaha’s interest by focusing on unique design and technology for electric two-wheelers in the exploding Indian market. The startup impressed Yamaha with its quick progress, launching its first electric scooter model just last August.

Yamaha’s $40 million investment out of the total $68 million funding round provides a major vote of confidence in River’s capabilities. Yamaha’s Chief General Manager of New Business Development, Hajime Jim Aota, directly cited River’s “focus on design and technology” as a reason for Yamaha’s investment.

This funding from Yamaha and other investors like LowerCarbon Capital and Toyota Ventures marks a crucial milestone for River Mobility. The company aims to become a billion-dollar brand over the next 7 years.

Rapid Growth with New Funding

River Mobility co-founders Arvind Mani and Vipin George achieved an impressive feat by developing and manufacturing their electric scooter model in just a few years. Now, with Yamaha’s backing plus their previous investors, River wants to scale up fast.

Mani, River’s CEO, said the new funding “is an important step in our plan to become a billion-dollar global utility-lifestyle brand by 2030.” The extra capital will expand River’s distribution and service networks around India to meet increasing demand.

River Mobility Co-Founders Arvind Mani and Vipin George
River Mobility Co-Founders Arvind Mani and Vipin George

The EV startup plans to grow its research and design teams to build new models. River recently opened its first retail store in Bangalore and wants to improve purchasing accessibility across India.

Unique SUV Scooter Style

River Mobility promotes its first electric scooter, the Indie model, as an “SUV of scooters” with a utility-focused design. The Indie scooter debuted in late 2023 and hit roads in October, kickstarting River’s product lineup.

True to its SUV inspirations, River designed the Indie e-scooter for stability across all road conditions, not just smooth city streets. The company developed the model completely in-house at its Bangalore manufacturing facility.

Distinct design features give the Indie an adventurous, outdoorsy look. The front rack, side racks, and storage below the seat provide practical cargo space. Large 16-inch wheels with chunky tread add to the SUV motif.

Performance and Range Up to 120km

Along with standout style, River Mobility’s Indie e-scooter delivers solid electric ride performance. The Indie’s 4kWh battery pack feeds a motor with a decent peak power output of up to 5.5kW.

Top Speed90 km/h
Acceleration (0–40 km/h)3.7 s
Max. Torque26 Nm
Peak Power6.7 kW (9 BHP)

Riders can tackle speeds up to 90km/h thanks to the ample power levels. The large battery capacity also enables an expected range of 120km on a single charge. With a performance like this, the Indie can handle daily urban commuting and weekend adventures.

River Indie E-Scooter Range and Performance
River Indie E-Scooter Range and Performance

For longevity, the Indie’s battery pack uses proven lithium-ion cell chemistry. The Indie recharges from 0 to 80% in just 5 hours using a standard home wall socket. DC fast charging can deliver even faster boosts while on the go.

Battery TypeLi-ion
Battery Capacity4 kWh
Charging Time (0–80%)5 Hours
Fast ChargingSupported

River Begins Sales and Store Launches Across India

Since its October 2023 launch, River has moved quickly to get the Indie e-scooter into customers’ hands. The company commenced sales online and through local dealer partners. In January 2024, River opened its first experience store in Bangalore.

More store launches will come to additional cities as River expands its retail presence. The startup aims to make purchasing and test driving the Indie more convenient across India.

Ex. Showroom Price in BengaluruRs. 1,38,000

Early pricing for the Indie starts at Rs 1.38 lakh in Bangalore, putting it in competition with lower-cost e-scooters. River Mobility will look to build on Indie’s initial momentum by enabling customers to access its products.

With Yamaha’s stamp of approval and added investment, River Mobility can power faster growth for manufacturing and selling its uniquely designed electric scooters. The Indie SUV-inspired model brings performance, practicality, and adventurous styling to the e-scooter space. River’s electric journey has just begun, with many more exciting two-wheeler models to come.