Raptee, the electric motorcycle startup, has raised $3 million in a Pre-Series A funding round. The round was led by Bluehill Capital, a deep-tech VC fund. Participation in the funding round included Eugene Mayne of Tristar Global, Lakshmi Narayanan, former CEO of Cognizant, Ramesh Kannan from Kaynes Technology, Chandu Nair from Shankara Building Products, and other high-net-worth individuals from India and the UAE.
The company has stated that the funds will be used for enhancing the manufacturing facility, purchasing machinery, tooling for the upcoming motorcycle, and expanding the team.
Raptee has been recognised for its work in electric motorcycle manufacturing with a focus on technology developed in-house. To date, the company has filed for over 45 patents. Among its developments is the introduction of high-voltage drive train technology with an on-board charger, making its motorcycles compatible with the CCS2 public charging network. Currently, there are over 9,000 such chargers installed in India.
Raptee received a grant from ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) in March for the development of this high-voltage powertrain. The company plans to release its first motorcycle in early 2024, with experience centres in Chennai and Bangalore, and aims to extend its reach to eight additional cities by the end of that year.
Further, Raptee is conducting research and development for its next range of products and aims to increase its team size in accordance with its business plan. The Tamil Nadu Government has allocated a 36-acre property for Raptee and provided additional incentives for manufacturing.
Dinesh Arjun, Co-founder and CEO, Raptee, mentioned the company's intentions to target the motorcycle market in India, acknowledging the growth of EV adoption in the country.
“India is the largest motorcycle market in the world, with EV adoption on the rise. At Raptee, we want to launch a motorcycle in a mid-premium segment for consumers who believe that EVs are a true upgrade from ICE vehicles,” said Arjun.
Manu Iyer, CEO & Partner, Bluehill Capital, expressed alignment with Raptee's vision and emphasized the indigenous build of the vehicle platform.
“We strongly share the vision of the Raptee team to build world-class core EV technology right here in Chennai, India in a focused and cost-effective manner. Dinesh and his co-founders have diligently built the vehicle platform indigenously with intellectual property on various aspects of the vehicle sub-system,” said Iyer.
In the past year, Raptee has expanded its team to over 50 members and has collaborated with suppliers for motorcycle components. The company also announced that Jayapradeep V, formerly of Royal Enfield, has joined as Chief Business Officer. Raptee's Chennai factory, spanning 3 acres, will primarily focus on research and development with a proposed annual capacity of 100,000 units for the next 24 months.
Raptee's electric motorcycle is slated for a launch in early next year. The company has set goals to mark its presence in 100 cities in India and to venture into select international markets in the next three years.