“Electric Motorcycles Need Higher Localisation, Time To Market”-Dinesh Arjun, Raptee

Highlights :

Chennai based Raptee Motors is among the more promising EV firms that have emerged to ride the EV wave.

Raptee has raised $3 Million in a Pre Series A round led by deep-tech VC fund Bluehill Capital.

The funds will be allocated towards augmenting the manufacturing facility, acquiring machinery, tooling for the soon to be launched motorcycle, and to scale up the team.

“Electric Motorcycles Need Higher Localisation, Time To Market”-Dinesh Arjun, Raptee

raptee logo

Dinesh Arjun, Co-Founder, Raptee, speaks to SaurEnergy about the firms plans. 


Congratulations on the funding. Can you give us a sense of the cap structure at the firm now? Last valuation?

We’re proud of the fact that we’ve gotten so far without raising much external capital. Many of the industry experts including our investors believe that we have travelled this far while diluting  a fraction of what our peers have taken to get to the same maturity level in terms of Design and Testing. As a result, more than 80% is still retained by the founders and employees. Raptee being a pre-revenue company, valuation depends a lot more on the value and tech that we’ve created over the last 4 years. With over 45 patents in our portfolio, we are also able to strongly back the valuation to ensure stability moving forward.

We understand your launch plan is scheduled for 2024. Can you define the mid-premium segment better in terms of actual price points?

The mid-premium segment for electric motorcycles in India is typically defined as motorcycles that are between 150cc to 300cc in ICE vehicles and cost between ₹1.5 lakh and ₹3 lakh. This segment  is attractive to riders who want a more powerful and feature-rich  motorcycle than the average commuter.  We believe that the mid-premium segment is a good place to launch Raptee motorcycles because it is a growing segment with a lot of potential and Raptee Electric motorcycles will be able to offer superior experience over their ICE counterparts in this segment. Indian consumers are increasingly interested in electric motorcycles, and they are willing to pay more for a motorcycle that has better performance, features, and range.

Even as the 2-wheeler EV market has taken off, the motorcycle market has always been considered a tougher one to crack in India. What drove you to consider this for your product?

While the Indian motorcycle market is more than twice the scooter industry, the EV adoption in the scooter segment is very impressive owing to the entry of many players, who introduced products from other Asian countries and offered choices to the consumers. When it comes to Motorcycles, there is a need for it to be developed indigenously and hence the time to market is longer than the scooters. Since the opportunity in the Motorcycle segment is better we wanted to offer something really great to the consumers.

We are driven to develop an affordable, long-range, and easy-to-charge electric motorcycle that meets the needs of Indian riders. We believe that electric motorcycles have the potential to revolutionize transportation in India.

Tell us more about the technology that is supposed to be your competitive edge.

Raptee is the only electric two-wheeler (e2W) that uses a high-voltage powertrain. This gives our motorcycles the compatibility to  use the existing public charging infrastructure (CCS2 charging standard), which was designed for electric four-wheelers (e4Ws). Also this is the first EV two wheeler to have an on-board charger. This means that Raptee riders can easily charge their motorcycles at any public charging station, and they can go on longer rides without having to worry about finding a compatible charging point.

How helpful has it been to be based out of Chennai, with Tamil Nadu fast emerging as the EV hub for India?

Being based out of Chennai has been a boon for the EV industry in India, due to the city’s strong talent pool, government support, proximity to suppliers and customers, and growing demand for EVs.

Tamil Nadu is home to a large number of engineering and technical colleges, which produce a steady stream of skilled talent for the EV industry. This is particularly beneficial for startups and small businesses, which may not have the resources to recruit from top tier universities.

The Tamil Nadu government has also been very supportive of the EV industry, with a number of incentives and policies in place to attract investment and encourage the development of EV technologies.

Chennai is a major industrial hub, with a number of suppliers of EV components and raw materials located nearby. This makes it easier for EV companies to source the parts they need and to get their products to market.

Tamil Nadu is also one of the leading markets for EVs in India, with a growing number of consumers interested in switching to electric vehicles. This provides EV companies with a large and growing customer base.

Overall, Chennai’s favorable environment for EV companies has been a major factor in the country’s growing EV market.

We notice a very strong outreach to students at Raptee. Tell us the thought behind it and how its worked so far.

Raptee understands the importance of engaging with students, who are the future leaders of the industry. Raptee’s student outreach program is designed to give students exposure to the electric mobility industry and to learn from the company’s experienced team. Raptee just concluded a two-day program for student outreach, involving students from 14 colleges. In order to offer a hands-on experience, the Raptee team delved into the comprehensive landscape of the EV industry, providing a tangible encounter through a 3D factory tour and bike test rides. Additionally, an exciting contest was unveiled leading to the facilitation of nine internships, consisting of three winners and six runner-ups.

Raptee aspires to expand its outreach to a broader student audience by organizing industrial visits and workshops..The program was very successful, attracting positive feedback from students . Raptee’s student outreach program helps the company to attract and retain top talent, raise brand awareness, build relationships with educational institutions, and prepare the next generation of leaders in the electric mobility industry.

What is the story behind the name Raptee?

The story behind the name Raptee is that the founders wanted to create a product and foster a team that would become known for their intelligence, quickness, and adaptability. They looked to nature for inspiration and found the velociraptor, also known as raptor, which is a type of dinosaur that was known for all of these qualities.

Overall, the name Raptee is a reflection of the company’s values and goals. It is a name that is both aspirational and inspiring, and it perfectly captures the company’s commitment to creating products and fostering a team that is at the top of their game.

The motorcycle market in India currently? What do you feel about the players, the technology, and the opportunities there?

The motorcycle market in India is currently very competitive, with a number of major players vying for a market share.  The major players are well-established, but new collaborations between Indian companies and MNCs are challenging the status quo. The technology used in Indian motorcycles is comparable to that used in other countries, but there is a need for more innovation in electric motorcycles and safety features. The market is growing rapidly, there is a large and growing middle class with disposable income, and the government is also providing incentives for those who opt for electric motorcycles. These factors create opportunities for new entrants and established players alike.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International