Fisker Automotive is now being called one of the most heavily venture capital backed companies ever as another $100 million recently added brought its total to almost $1.2 billion.
Despite such news presently circulating of a minor recall, and a rocky review from Consumer Reports which spent $107,850 for a Karma then gave it a failing grade, we keep hearing of others spending far more to invest in this green energy start-up.
Former Chevy Volt Line Director, and new CEO Tony Posawatz was reported as saying the latest venture funding is earmarked for full expansion into the Middle East and China, as well as to get the Atlantic sedan into production.
“The Karma is already a testament to U.S. automotive innovation and advanced technology, and we intend to announce our production plans for the Atlantic and a timeline by December of this year,” Posawatz said.
The actual number of Karmas delivered globally has been speculated to be in excess of 2,400, but Fisker has been known to play its hand close to its chest, and when asked a couple weeks ago, merely told us “we’re still only saying it is over 1,000.”
A more recent report by SustainableBusiness.com said deliveries in the U.S. and Europe are now nearly 1,500, and this too may be less than actual.
But despite a modest start, several setbacks including loss of two-thirds of a $529 million U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Technology Manufacturing loan, Fisker keeps finding willing investors.
We know it is playing the public relation game as carefully as it can, and perceives it has many detractors waiting to pounce, but its business plan presentation beyond the elevator speech it gives the public must be pretty sound, or one would think.
We know also the market and political climate affecting potential receptiveness to its Karma luxury plug-in hybrid is entirely different in the Middle East and China, than in the U.S.
Of the $1.2 billion, half has been raised in the past 18 months, according to SustainableBusiness.com, and since Karmas began shipping in December 2011, it has raised one-quarter of its total venture funding.
In short, in the eyes of the public – given what info they may come across – Fisker’s image is very much in question, but behind the scenes where greater disclosure is demanded by venture capitalists, the investment in this company is still going strong.