OSLO, NORWAY - Electric vehicle maker THINK said it has completed a US$40 million equity increase to support further product development and planned expansion into North American markets.
With the new equity, THINK said the company is now fully funded and expects to become cash-flow positive in 2011.
"The new equity round will help THINK take full advantage of the rapid growth of zero-emissions vehicles around the world," said CEO Richard Canny. "The electric vehicle's time has arrived, and we are ready to take a leading role among the world's first global EV makers."
Headquartered in Norway, THINK has raised a total of US$87 million since last August, when it started a new phase of production with strategic partner Valmet Automotive of Finland. The automaker has invested heavily in new product development in Europe and Asia.
In January, THINK North America announced a new manufacturing facility in Elkhart, Ind. The company also recently completed the initial phase of due diligence for a low-cost, long-term loan with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to help fund the North American expansion.
"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," Canny said.
The THINK City was the first highway-capable electric vehicle (EV) certified to European safety standards, and it will go on sale in the U.S. later this year.
The investment round was co-led by RockPort Capital Partners, an investment fund co-located in Boston and Menlo Park, Calif., specializing in energy and clean technology, and Ener1 Inc., the parent company of advanced battery manufacturer EnerDel. Rockport Capital and Ener1 each increased its investment in THINK by $12.5 million. All of THINK's shareholders participated in the equity round.
"Our additional investment reflects our confidence in THINK as exceptionally well-positioned for success with a proven product and leading technology in electric drive systems," said Wilber James, co-managing general partner of Rockport Capital.