Faraday Futures is the latest startup to announce a public listing through a reverse merger using a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) in what is fast becoming a trend for companies in the electrical vehicle space. SPACs have become popular during the pandemic to consolidate funds raised by other financial entities and as a faster means to listing while facing fewer regulatory hurdles.
CEO Carsten Breitfeld
The company's chief executive, Carsten Breitfeld, announced the reverse merger and SPAC vehicle and while he said an announcement would be made 'quite soon' there is as yet no definitive date set for the company going public. Breitfeld, who was previously the co-founder of electric vehicle startup Byton, also declined to offer any details about who Faraday Futures will use to complete the deal.
FF91 Luxury Electric SUV
Faraday Futures is based in California and was founded in 2014 as an electric car maker but has yet to produce a commercially available vehicle. It has announced that its first vehicle that will go into production will be the FF91 - a luxury electric SUV that was presented at CES 2020. Its eye-catching design was apparently met with considerable enthusiasm by attendees. The company aims to raise around $850 million to put this model into production by the end of the first quarter of 2020. This is in addition to the $225 million of bridge financing provided by a group of investors led by Birch Lake Associates.
Faraday Futures Bankruptcy
Investors may be wary of the company's somewhat checkered past; Faraday Future's former CEO and founder, YT Jia, entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy and was forced to sell off his stake in the company to pay debts and to secure the company's future. He is still involved in the company, however, and will be the Chief Product and User Ecosystem Officer. The pandemic has also impacted the company though a $9 million forgivable loan form the US Small Business Administration measure helped it stave off closure and allowed it to keep its employees.
The restructuring of the company is now complete and having Jia's personal financial problems untangled from it may make it a more attractive target for investors in the EV space. Breitfeld also emphasized that the startup's history makes it vital that trust is restored in the brand and that it shows stability as it moves forwards.
Faraday Futures Stock IPO
Whether the company will be regarded as a good investment by investors in the forthcoming IPO will be crucial for the company's future. Given its history and the fact that it is competing against share market and public favorite Tesla in the electrical vehicle space may make it a somewhat risky play. Much will depend on whether the startup meets its planned milestones and produces a commercially viable electric vehicle that can compete with Tesla.
Faraday Future | 919 Futurist Day 2020 | FF 91