Raptee, a pioneering electric motorcycle startup, has successfully raised $3 million in a Pre-Series A funding round, with leading deep-tech venture capital fund Bluehill Capital at the helm. This all-equity funding round attracted significant participation from notable industry figures, including Mr. Eugene Mayne, Founder and CEO of Tristar Global (UAE), Mr. Lakshmi Narayanan, Former CEO of Cognizant, Ramesh Kannan, Managing Director of Kaynes Technology, Mr. Chandu Nair, Director of Shankara Building Products, and other High Net Worth Individuals (HNIs) from India and the UAE.
The secured funds are earmarked for crucial purposes such as expanding the manufacturing facility, acquiring essential machinery and tooling for their forthcoming motorcycle launch, and scaling up the team.
Raptee is a comprehensive electric motorcycle manufacturer with a strong technological foundation developed domestically. The company boasts an impressive portfolio, having filed for more than 45 patents to date. A groundbreaking feature of Raptee’s motorcycles is their high-voltage drive train technology, along with an on-board charger, making them compatible with the rapidly expanding CCS2 public charging network in India and globally. India currently boasts over 9000 chargers, a number comparable to fuel pumps in the country.
The high-voltage technology incorporated into Raptee motorcycles not only enhances battery safety but also extends battery life, effectively addressing the issue of range anxiety.
Earlier this year, Raptee secured a grant from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), the certifying authority for automobiles in India, to support the development of their high-voltage powertrain. The company is gearing up to unveil its first motorcycle in early 2024, with experience centers in Chennai and Bangalore. Expansion plans include opening eight more centers in various cities by the end of the first year.
Raptee is currently engaged in research and development for its next line of products and is set to expand its team to 150 employees in alignment with its business strategy. The Tamil Nadu Government has taken notice of Raptee’s impressive progress and allocated a 36-acre property to the company, along with other incentives, to support its manufacturing expansion.
Dinesh Arjun, Co-founder CEO of Raptee, stated, “India is the largest motorcycle market globally, with electric vehicle adoption on the rise. At Raptee, we aim to launch a mid-premium segment motorcycle for consumers who view EVs as a genuine upgrade from traditional internal combustion engine vehicles. We are fortunate to have the backing of investors from the manufacturing and transportation industries who understand long-term value creation. This being our first institutional round, we’re also proud to have Bluehill Capital as a DeepTech VC partner. We’ve been rigorously testing our vehicles, and the results are very promising. We are eagerly looking forward to our upcoming launch.”
Manu Iyer, CEO & Partner at Bluehill Capital, expressed, “We wholeheartedly share Raptee’s vision of building world-class EV technology in Chennai, India, in a focused and cost-effective manner. Dinesh and his co-founders have diligently developed the vehicle platform domestically, with intellectual property covering various aspects of the vehicle sub-system. Having evaluated over 30 EV OEMs in India and deeply invested in the EV and clean-tech ecosystem, we are impressed by Raptee’s cutting-edge technology and are excited to partner with them on their journey. We believe that Raptee’s motorcycles will revolutionize the electric two-wheeler market in India.”
Over the past 12 months, Raptee’s team has grown steadily to over 50 members. The company’s rapid progress and vision have attracted esteemed suppliers for motorcycle components and senior leadership talent from the industry, ensuring quality and shorter turnaround times as production scales up.
Recently, Mr. Jayapradeep V, former Head of Business at Royal Enfield, joined Raptee as Chief Business Officer. Raptee has established its first factory in Chennai, spanning 3 acres, which will house the majority of the Research and Development team. With an annual production capacity of 100,000 units, this facility will serve as the primary production plant for Raptee over the next 24 months. The R&D center will feature state-of-the-art development and testing facilities, supporting future product innovation. The manufacturing plant will host a dedicated battery pack assembly line, with a proposed investment of Rs 80 crore. Raptee’s cost-effective approach has allowed it to reach this stage at a fraction of the cost compared to many of its peers in the EV industry.
Raptee’s EV motorcycle is set to launch early next year, with plans to expand to 100 cities in India and explore international markets conducive to its growth over the next three years.