Bloomberg News

Fisker Boosts Fundraising Before July Plug-in Car Deliveries

June 02, 2011

June 2 (Bloomberg) -- Fisker Automotive Inc., a maker of luxury plug-in hybrid cars, said it has raised $600 million in venture-capital funding so far and plans to seek more before delivering its first vehicles next month.

Fisker on May 12 announced a plan to raise $100 million and has since increased that amount to $115 million, Joe DaMour, the carmaker’s chief financial officer, said in a telephone interview today. It completed two similar rounds in mid-2010 and early this year that each raised $190 million, DaMour said. He declined to discuss the timing of a possible initial public offering for Irvine, California-based Fisker.

“We have approximately $250 million in cash in the bank. We’re in a very solid financial position, and want to continue to maintain that and frankly fortify it,” DaMour said. “I can’t discuss future funding activities. What I can tell you is we plan to stay out ahead of the curve, from a funding standpoint.”

U.S. customers waiting for Fisker’s first plug-in model, the Karma sports car that goes about 50 miles (80 kilometers) on battery power before a gasoline engine propels it, are to start receiving vehicles in mid-July. Car designer Henrik Fisker, the company’s chief executive, said in a November 2010 interview that an initial public offering was possible after Karma production and sales began.

Karma, Nina

Karma prices range from $95,800 to $108,000, prior to a $7,500 federal tax credit, Fisker said. Along with its privately raised capital, the company won a $529 million federal loan in 2009 that’s being used to refurbish a former General Motors Co. plant in Delaware that will produce a lower-priced plug-in car, Fisker’s Nina model, starting in 2013.

The company will have 45 U.S. dealers by the end of July, Fisker said. Some 3,000 people have paid $5,000 to reserve a Karma so far, and the company hopes to sell as many as 15,000 a year.

“We’ve continued to execute rounds of financing because frankly the interest from the investor side is very strong,” DaMour said.

Investors in the closely held company include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a Menlo Park, California-based venture capital fund.

--Editors: Niamh Ring, Stephen West

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at aohnsman@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kae Inoue at kinoue@bloomberg.net


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