New funding helps THINK push ahead with North American expansion
The latest equity round will be used to support further product development and planned expansion into North American markets.
According to the company, the new equity will make it fully funded and it expects to become cashflow positive in 2011. This is in stark contrast to the end of 2008 when the firm was struck by the financial crisis and filed for bankruptcy protection. THINK left court protection last August after receiving $47m in new funding and partnering up with Valmet Automotive of Finland, which took over production of the THINK City model.
The company has since been working on a programme of global expansion and, in January this year, announced plans to start production in Elkhart County, Indiana and to launch its THINK City electric vehicle into the North American market later this year. The model has already been marked out as the first electric car to gain pan-European regulatory safety approval and CE certification and first customer deliveries are currently taking place across Europe in selected key EV markets such as Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and Austria.
Commenting on the company's plans for the US market, THINK CEO Richard Canny said: 'While other companies have announced future production plans, THINK has a proven electric vehicle in mass production today, and the benefit of 30 million miles of real-world EV experience over our 20-year history.'
The new equity round saw all of THINK's shareholders participate, co-led by RockPort Capital Partners and Ener1 Inc, the parent company of battery manufacturer EnerDel, both of which increased their investment in THINK by $12.5 million.
'This last round of equity marks a powerful vote of confidence by THINK’s investors at a time when world capital markets are under great stress,' Mr Canny said. 'Completing our funding requirements will allow us to maintain momentum, accelerate key new initiatives and ensure that we capitalise on our first-to-market advantage.'
He added that with the closing of the equity funding, THINK will now pull ahead right-hand-drive products for markets such as Japan and the UK, and that forthcoming innovations to the City model will increase its appeal in the commuter car sector of the EV market.