The Daily Dish (2/9/21)
Welcome to the Daily Dish. Every morning in your inbox subscribers receive some Dishes that we find interesting and we think that you should know more about.
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Electric chassis maker Xos Trucks Inc. is in talks to go public through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that could lead to a valuation of $2 billion, Reuters reported Monday.
The North Hollywood, California-based Xos makes a customizable chassis with the wiring, battery mounting and axle-mounting systems for medium- and heavy-duty electric trucks. Its customers so far include United Parcel Service, armored truck company Loomis, and Japan’s Hino Motors Ltd., a subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corp. Xos vehicles have been used by UPS on customer routes in the Los Angeles area for the past eight months, according to the company. Loomis, an existing customer of Xos, has ordered another 20 trucks following a pilot program in 2019.
Xos raised $20 million last August to help meet demand for underpinning medium-duty regional and last-mile delivery trucks with its X-Platform. Hino was the first Class 8 truck maker to purchase the X-Platform.
NextGen Acquisition Corp. $NGAC is in discussions with investors about raising financing for the SPAC deal through a private investment in public equity (PIPE), Reuters said. If successful, an agreement could be announced as early as this month.
The startup, which was formerly known as Thor Trucks, raised $20 millon from a group of investors including Proeza Ventures, a mobility-focused VC firm backed by Metalsa’s holding company, and BUILD Capital Group. Xos also gained a few new board members along with the capital. Rodolfo Elias Dieck of Proeza Ventures and Mark Lampert, a former Daimler executive who is now at BUILD Capital, have joined the board. Xos has beefed up its executive ranks as well, including hiring Kingsley Afemikhe as its CFO and Rob Ferber, employee number one and science director at Tesla, as its CTO.
With that, the company could get enough funding to potentially buy smaller companies in the space and enter the ghost kitchen industry as a way into the food delivery market, the report stated.
The SPAC Helbiz intends to merge with is GreenVision Acquisition Corp. $GRNV, and it will happen in the second quarter of this year, according to the report. The transaction will include $30 million in private investment in public equity (PIPE) from institutional investors, and around $80 million in net proceeds will go toward Helbiz’s business.
CEO Salvatore Palella said the funding would help with the company in “revolutionizing transport by using micromobility to become a seamless last-mile solution,” TechCrunch wrote.
Palella told TechCrunch the ghost kitchens would be introduced in Milan and Washington, D.C., later this year, and said the company is planning for a five-minute delivery time. To create a different experience from competitors, such as Lime and Byrd, Helbiz plans to roll out eScooters, eBicycles and eMopeds all on the same platform.
In addition, the report stated, there will be a geofencing platform integrated in order to help with some cities’ issues with eScooters and similar vehicles being left at random locations, and a swappable battery to make for easier charging. There’s a subscription service as well, letting users take unlimited 30-minute trips on its bikes and scooters each month.
PYMNTS reported early in 2020 on the expansion of the micromobility sector in Washington, D.C., which came with a new District Department of Transportation (DDOT) ruling saying that there would be new laws on which companies would be permitted to work in the industry.
Helbiz, new in the U.S. at the time, made the cut due to what Palella said was the difference in the business model, specifically how it offers a full team of full-time workers as well as the lower costs for customers.
Volta Industries Inc said on Monday it agreed to go public through a merger with blank-check firm Tortoise Acquisition Corp II $SNPR in a deal that values the electric vehicle (EV) charging station network at over $2 billion.
The deal will fetch Volta $600 million in net proceeds, including a $300 million private investment from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock Inc, Fidelity Management & Research Co LLC and Neuberger Berman Funds. These funds will be used to accelerate product commercialization, product production, demand generation efforts, operational growth and for general corporate purposes.
“Volta’s unique business model is poised to capture the vast consumer spending shifts that will accompany our society’s shift from carbon to electric,” says Volta CEO Scott Mercer in the company’s news release. “With the shift to electric mobility, consumers will expect to fuel where they go.” Volta is putting charging infrastructure in highly trafficked areas, believing it will help network utilization.
The deal values Volta at about $1.4 billion, but with the premarket jump in the stock price, Volta’s implied stock market valuation is roughly $2.2 billion.
Blink, for comparison, is valued at about $2.2 billion in the market. Beam is valued at roughly $500 million. EVgo will have a market value of roughly $5.5 billion, based on the 263 million shares outstanding after the merger closes.
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