Originally Posted by Venture Beat
Having already banked $100 million Fisker Automotive has raised its sights on a new round of venture capital funding, now seeking $175 million, according to a filing with the SEC (and first noticed by Earth2Tech).
The company is perhaps best known as Tesla Motors‘ top competitor, having also received a hefty loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy ($529 million versus Tesla’s $465 million), and pursuing a similar strategy starting with a green luxury sports car, to be followed by a more practical consumer sedan. Now the Irvine, Calif., company is closing in on $1 billion in funding.
Based on the amounts in question, it is pretty clear that Fisker will be using this newest round of funding to convert the old General Motors plant it acquired in Delaware so that it can roll out its new line of more affordable hybrids (an effort it is calling Project Nina).
The goal is to get the Delaware facility up and running by 2012 — the company’s deadline for churning out its first plug-in hybrids, estimated to sell for $47,400. The Project Nina cars, which could be available in sedan, sport utility, and truck form, are the follow up to Fisker’s initial creation, the Karma sports car, which will launch later this year and retail for $87,900.
As Earth2Tech pointed out, another filing has popped up for an entity called Fisker Holdings, which has already raised $202 million of an expected $232.7 million round of funding. It’s unclear what the relationship is between this company and Fisker Automotive, or what this funding would be used to do.
For all the hundreds of millions it has raised from prestigious investors like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (driven by proponent Al Gore), Quantum Technologies and A123Systems, Fisker has yet to produce anything concrete, or pitch a business model that does not depend on the unrealistic immediate sale of thousands of Karma models.
With Nissan and General Motors gearing up to launch their consumer-priced green vehicles — the Leaf and Chevy Volt, respectively — before the end of this year, it’s hard to imagine Fisker breaking into the market in any big way two years after the fact. On top of that, it will in all likelihood, have a high-profile Tesla IPO to contend with.
Fisker last announced funding, amounting to $115.3 million, in January, citing A123, Kleiner Perkins, and Ace Investments as backers.