Fisker Automotive, an electric vehicle maker backed by venture capitalists including Kleiner Perkins, is getting awfully close to the $1 billion funding mark, putting it in a rare class of greentech firms that includes thin film solar maker Solyndra. According to a filing today, Fisker Automotive has boosted its latest equity funding round to $175 million, and has already raised $100 million of that. The company is backed by Kleiner Perkins, A123Systems and Ace Investments., and also lists Quantum Technologies on this latest filing.
Update: In another filing, a group called Fisker Holdings, which is backed by the same investors (probably an affiliate formed to raised funding) says it is in the process of raising equity, options and securities worth $232.71 million, and has already raised $202 million of that. We’re waiting to hear more from Fisker on Fisker Holdings and how much the company has raised in total.
Fisker announced it had raised $115 million back in January, and this latest equity funding bump of $175 million to Fisker Automotive adds to the $529 million in loans from the federal government and $21.5 million in loans from Delaware (coming close to $800 million in total). If Fisker has added on another $200 million (we’re double-checking this) then that means the company has really hit the $1 billion mark.
The fact that Fisker Automotive’s funding was raised to specifically $175 million doesn’t seem like a coincidence — the terms of the loan from Delaware are that it will convert if the Irvine, Calif.-based startup invests at least $175 million retrofitting the shuttered General Motors facility where it plans to build plug-in hybrid vehicles, and hires at least 2,495 workers at the Wilmington, Del. plant. Fisker also needed additional equity to close its DOE loan.
Fisker has said it intends to produce a $47,400 plug-in hybrid vehicle, dubbed Project Nina, at the Delaware facility starting in 2012. The 3-year-old startup’s inaugural plug-in hybrid model, the $87,900 Fisker Karma, is scheduled to launch later this year in the U.S. and Europe, with Finland’s Valmet Automotive responsible for assembly.
Fisker just closed the $528.7 million loan agreement from the DOE last month, about seven months after Fisker first won the loan. The loan is the fourth agreement to reach this stage under the DOE’s highly competitive Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing, or ATVM program. Other winners include Tesla Motors, Nissan and Ford.
The ATVM loans can cover only 80 percent of the project costs, so to close the DOE loan, Fisker needed to raise this equity. As we’ve written before, startups like Fisker face a long road — and a lot of fund raising — to bring green cars to market in large numbers.
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