Nikhil Kamath’s EV Startup Investment and Potential Laptop Curb Relaxation

Nikhil Kamath

Three points you will get to know in this article:

• The development follows Ather’s recent INR 900 Cr ($108 Mn) rights issue.
• Ather’s FY23 revenue soared to INR 1,806 Cr from INR 408.5 Cr in FY22.
• Kamath invests in Indian startups like Nazara, Licious, Third Wave Coffee, and more.

Nikhil Kamath, one of the co-founders behind Zerodha, India’s premier stock brokerage firm, is making headlines by entering the investment arena of Ather Energy, the Bengaluru-based electric scooter manufacturer backed by the global investment giant Tiger Global. According to insiders familiar with the matter, Kamath is poised to become a part of Ather Energy’s distinguished list of investors.

While the exact amount of Kamath’s investment remains undisclosed, our sources suggest that this move will take the form of a secondary share sale. In this type of transaction, existing stakeholders sell their entire shares to new investors, although the funds do not directly benefit the company itself. It’s an intriguing development in the world of electric mobility and finance.

In this latest funding round, Kavin Shah, along with other high net worth individuals (HNIs), joined as co-investors, as announced in a statement released last Thursday. However, the precise investment made by Kamath and Pai remains undisclosed. Notably, Omnipresent, a venture spearheaded by Aakash Sinha, recognized as an MIT TR35 Innovator and a graduate from the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, has achieved a remarkable milestone with a 51-kilometer drone flight to support HPCL pipelines. Additionally, Omnipresent has been a trusted partner for several leading oil giants in India, including RIL, IOCL, and BPCL.

Government might ease laptop restrictions

To simplify the regulations surrounding laptop imports, the government is exploring the possibility of enabling importers to complete their registrations online, eliminating the need for the cumbersome licensing procedure. Alternatively, they may consider extending the implementation deadline by a year. As an example, in the case of steel imports, registration is the sole requirement, resulting in the generation of a unique code that is affixed to the import invoice. This streamlined approach could also be extended to laptop imports. This user-friendly adjustment aims to enhance the import process and reduce bureaucratic hurdles.

Nikhil Kamath to invest in Ather

One of the co-founders of Zerodha is poised to make a significant investment in Ather Energy, the innovative electric two-wheeler manufacturer that garnered an impressive Rs 900 crore during its September rights issue. This funding round saw participation from prominent entities such as Hero MotoCorp and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC. Nithin Kamath, known for his active involvement in nurturing indigenous startups, recently channeled a substantial Rs 100 crore investment into Nazara Technologies, underscoring his commitment to fostering homegrown entrepreneurial talent.

Jeep considers India an export hub

Jeep is gearing up to introduce a range of fresh models, aligning with the evolving preferences of India’s car enthusiasts who are increasingly favoring premium vehicles. In addition, the company is actively exploring the realm of electric and hybrid alternatives to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly options. Anticipating robust performance, Jeep envisions quarterly sales volumes of 1,200 to 1,600 units following the launch of their highly anticipated new models, including the versatile Compass 4×2 and the sophisticated Meridian Overland.

Rabi MSP increase may fall within the 2-7% range

As the government prepares for the upcoming state elections scheduled for December, it is contemplating an increase in the prices of six key Rabi crops, ranging from 2 to 7 percent. The most substantial hike is anticipated for wheat. In the previous year, there was a 5.5 percent increase in wheat prices, and the minimum support price for masoor saw a notable uptick of 9.1 percent. However, barley and chana are expected to experience relatively modest price adjustments this time around.

Nikhil Kamath’s investment in Ather Energy adds a compelling twist to the electric mobility sector. With evolving preferences in the Indian automotive market and potential changes in laptop import regulations, the business landscape continues to transform, promising opportunities and challenges for investors and entrepreneurs alike.

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