Orange County Business Journal

Fisker Raises Another $100M

Chris Casacchia Friday, May 13, 2011

Anaheim-based luxury hybrid auto developer Fisker Automotive Inc. has raised another $100 million in venture funding as the company prepares to ship its first model to customers next month.

The new funding comes two months after the automaker secured $190 million from investors and began production on its Karma sedan.

With investor financing and government money, Fisker has raised more than $1 billion to develop luxury cars that run on rechargeable batteries with backup gas engines.

The company’s funding includes a $529 million Energy Department loan and $21.5 million in grants and loans from Delaware.

Earlier this year, Fisker bought the 3.2 million-square-foot Wilmington Assembly plant in Delaware for $20 million in General Motors Co.’s bankruptcy.

General Motors shut down production at the plant in 2009.

Fisker plans to spend $175 million to retool the plant and start production in late 2012 on the Nina, one of two cars it plans to produce.

2011 is a big year for Fisker as it rolls out its first car and moved its headquarters to Anaheim last month.

Some 3,000 orders for the Karma are on backlog. The first cars off the assembly line are set to be shipped in June to about 40 dealers in the U.S. and Europe in a simultaneous launch, officials said.

Irvine-based Shelly Automotive Group is among them.

The Karma starts at about $96,000.

Fisker cofounder and Chief Operating Officer Bernhard Koehler in March told a European automotive publication the company hopes to sell 7,000 cars in 2011 and 15,000 in 2012.

That’s a revenue projection of about $670 million this year and $1.4 billion next year.

Fisker is among the county’s most watched startups. Many see the company as the top local prospect for an initial public offering this year.