Forbes said:With $115 million in fresh capital, start-up carmaker can tap huge federal loan for plug-in hybrids.
DETROIT -- Henrik Fisker's ambition to build the next American car company got an important boost Friday with his company's announcement that it had secured an additional $115.3 million in private equity funding.
Raising new capital was a condition of the $528.7 million taxpayer loan Fisker Automotive received last September from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop plug-in hybrids.
The company, which had raised nearly $200 million to get off the ground in 2007, was stymied in its additional fundraising efforts by the recession in 2009, forcing it to push back the launch of its first car, the $88,000 plug-in Karma, by almost a year.
Investors in the latest round of financing include battery maker A123 Systems ( AONE - news - people ), Hong Kong-based Ace Investments and Silicon Valley's Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Earlier this week Fisker signed a multiyear supply agreement with A123 Systems, of Watertown, Mass., for the lithium-ion batteries that will power the Karma. As part of that deal A123 invested $23 million in Fisker, which is included in the $115 million announced Friday.
“Raising $115 million in these times speaks volumes about the value of our business model and the vast potential of plug-in hybrids,” said Fisker, chief executive of the start-up.
The money will be used to complete development work on the Karma and paves the way for lower-cost plug-in hybrid technology for a second, family-oriented car code named Project NINA. That vehicle is expected to be built in Wilmington, Del., at a former General Motors assembly plant starting in 2012.