Fisker raises $50 million to bring its all-electric Ocean SUV to market in 2022

Electric vehicle startup Fisker Inc. said Wednesday it has raised $ 50 million, much needed capital that will go toward funding the next phase of engineering work on the company’s all-electric luxury SUV.

The startup is aiming to launch the Fisker Ocean SUV in 2022.

The Series C funding round was led by Moore Strategic Ventures LLC, the private investment vehicle of Louis M. Bacon, the billionaire hedge fund manager.

“Since we first showed the car at CES earlier this year, reaction from customers and investors has been extremely positive,” Fisker Inc. Chairman and CEO Henrik Fisker said in a statement. “We are radically challenging the conventional industry thinking around developing and selling cars and this capital will allow us to execute our planned timeline to start producing vehicles in 2022.”

The company is also beefing up its executive lineup to help push the project along. Fisker said it has hired Burkhard Huhnke as its CTO. Huhnke was the former vice president of e-mobility for Volkswagen America and vice president of automotive at chipmaker Synopses.

As CTO, Huhnke will spread his time between the company’s R&D work in Los Angeles and its new Fisker Innovation Lab in Silicon Valley.

Building a car company isn’t easy. Just ask Fisker. The well-known automotive designer, who was behind the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, Aston Martin DB9 and BMW Z8 among others, launched a startup called Fisker Automotive that aimed to produce a luxury plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. The flagship vehicle, the Fisker Karma, debuted at the 2008 North American International Auto Show, and first deliveries were in 2011. But the company ran into numerous challenges and production was suspended in November 2012 and ended in bankruptcy a year later.

China’s Wanxiang Group purchased what was left of Fisker in 2014 and launched a new company called Karma Automotive . On a side note: Karma, which has had its own financial struggles, also announced Wednesday it had raised $ 100 million.

This time around, Fisker is focused on an SUV. The Fisker Ocean, which was officially revealed in January at CES 2020, starts at $ 37,499 before applying any federal income tax credit or state incentives.

Startups – TechCrunch

[Lemonade in Market Watch] Lemonade logs best U.S. IPO debut of 2020 with more than 140% gain

Lemonade Inc. snagged 2020’s strongest initial public offering debut of a U.S. company as shares of the mobile-based insurance startup became the latest to more than double on their first day of trading.

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Dubai’s Nomad Homes wants to digitise Europe and Middle East real estate market, snaps €3.55M funding

We all know that buying or renting properties is never an easy task, but Dubai-headquartered proptech startup Nomad Homes wants to make the experience swift for its users. Founded last year by Helen Chen, Dan Piehler, and Damien Drap, Nomad Homes has built a digital real estate platform that brings the entire experience of buying and renting homes online. 

Nomad Home: How it works?

The founders come with experience from firms such as Blackstone, Addepar, and Uber, and launched the product last month, providing home seekers with search tools, virtual tours, and digital document signing to offer an end-to-end online experience. It partners with local real estate brokerages to provide buyers with an inventory of curated properties. Nomad makes money by taking a percentage of the commission.

Funding from Comcast Ventures

Now the company is planning to use experience from Silicon Valley and Wall Street and bring it to Europe and the Middle East (EMEA). They plan to launch in Europe soon and for that, they’ve partnered with Comcast Ventures to lead its Seed financing of $ 4 million (€3.55 million approx.). Further, Abstract Ventures, Partech, Precursor Ventures, WndrCo, and Class 5 Global also participated in the round. 

The funding will be used to scale Nomad’s engineering team in the US and grow its marketplace and services. The company is also laying the groundwork for its second launch city in Europe.

$ 20 trillion in real estate value

Nomad Co-Founder and CEO Helen Chen explains that although our target markets in EMEA represent over $ 20 trillion in real estate value, the customer experience remains far behind that of the US. Proptech goliaths including Zillow and Opendoor are built atop multiple listing services (MLS), which provide detailed property information including transaction history, tax assessments, and nearby school districts. Across Nomad’s markets, including its first launch city Dubai, that level of data transparency does not exist. Leaving buyers and renters to navigate a sea of low quality, duplicative listings with no understanding of the underlying details and what the property is actually worth. 

The majority of the process of finding a home across EMEA is still completed offline and is consequently confusing and inefficient. Through the use of better technology and customer service, Nomad aims to bring the entire journey online.

The right team to tackle the problem

According to Daniel Gulati, a Managing Director at Comcast Ventures, their investment in Nomad was driven by the team.

“Helen and the team bring a unique blend of Silicon Valley DNA, real estate insights and on-the-ground operating experience. We are excited to support Nomad’s quest to deliver a superior experience for all market participants with a technology-first approach.”

Nomad was born in Palo Alto. As a former private equity investor at Blackstone, Helen was researching proptech trends throughout the US before turning her attention to EMEA. After uncovering how outdated real estate practices were across the region, she dropped out of Stanford’s MBA program to start Nomad. Helen approached Co-Founders Dan Piehler and Damien Drap to round out the team’s fintech and operating experience. Dan was previously a Senior Product Manager at Addepar and Damien was an early employee at Uber, involved in launching and developing the business in Paris, Lisbon, Barcelona and Milan before launching and leading Uber Eats across the Middle East. Other members of Nomad’s ten-person team bring experience from Uber, PeerStreet, and multi-national real estate brokerages.

As Helen describes, “We have the right team to tackle the problem. With Dan’s experience across data platforms and consumer applications and Damien’s proven ability to launch and run markets around the world, we’ve assembled an incredible group to tackle this problem.” 

A fintech solution 

The opportunity goes beyond just searching for a home, as Nicolas El Baze, a General Partner at Partech, highlights.

“Partech strives to back stellar entrepreneurs with transformative and global vision. We were instantly compelled with Nomad’s plan to bring visibility, efficiency, and liquidity to high-value international real estate markets through a comprehensive digital infrastructure.”

Nomad’s mission is to help their customers from beginning to end – not only to help find their home, but also to finance it. The company is starting by offering a managed marketplace – removing fake and duplicate listings and bringing the entire journey online – leaving users with a simple, trustworthy, and enjoyable experience. Once a user is ready to choose their home, Nomad makes money by taking a percentage of the commission. The company is not stopping there, it plans to also address the many financing challenges faced by its users. By creating its own inhouse MLS, Nomad is building the foundation to power its financial products. Whether it’s turning mortgage buyers into cash buyers or facilitating trade-ins, Nomad is making a real estate transaction truly seamless for its users.

— Press release

Main image credit: Nomad Homes

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Startups – Silicon Canals

European Investment Bank provides Munich-based NavVis with €20 million to cement their market leading position in digital twin technology

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and NavVis announced today the signing of a contract which provides financing of €20 million to NavVis, a global market leader in digital twin technology. NavVis has experienced unprecedented growth and demand for its indoor spatial intelligence solutions, and will further invest in expanding operations to meet the need for technological innovation in the enterprise manufacturing industry.

The EU bank’s loan is backed by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe under which the EIB and the European Commission are working together as strategic partners and the EIB’s financing operations are boosting the competitiveness of the European economy.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, who is responsible for innovation and operations in Germany, said: “NavVis is the world’s largest indoor data platform, this is a truly remarkable achievement. Their approach combines ground-breaking academic research with cutting-edge technologies. For the EIB, as well as the “Investment Plan for Europe”, it is a top priority to support investment that is geared towards greater competitiveness. Therefore I very much welcome our cooperation with NavVis.”

NavVis CEO, Felix Reinshagen commented: “We’re proud to receive this financing from the EIB, which represents an important milestone in our long-term vision of digitizing all buildings. The EIB clearly recognizes the untapped potential  not just in Europe but around the world, and supports our belief that in the future there’ll be a digital twin of every building. The funds will be used for the continuous build-out of our technology and global market presence, and in the months ahead we’ll double down on our expansion into the digital factory space. Now more than ever, enterprises need our support in managing their digital transformation.”

The fresh capital will allow NavVis to accelerate the delivery of digital twins to enterprises and support the digital transformation in the manufacturing industry. In the past, NavVis already closed big funding rounds with VC firms like Target Partners and Digital+ Partners.

Founded in 2013, NavVis today is a leading global provider of indoor spatial intelligence technology and solutions for enterprises, trusted by top companies including BMW, Daimler, Allianz, Audi, and Skoda. NavVis helps enterprises drive efficiencies and optimize business performance through its powerful digital twin platform for the indoors that enables accurate mapping at unprecedented speed and scale, immersive 3D visualization designed for collaboration and location-based apps that pioneer AI-powered positioning technology. Headquartered in Munich, NavVis also has offices in New York and Shanghai.

EU-Startups

[Lemonade in Market Watch] Lemonade stock squeezes out a second day of huge post-IPO gains

Lemonade Inc. LMND, +16.97% shares had a second strong day of trading Monday following the mobile-based insurance startup launched its initial public offering late Wednesday. Lemonade shares recently touched an intraday high of $ 96.51 and were last up 31% at $ 91.17.

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[VayaVision in Globe Newswire] LeddarTech Acquires VayaVision to Accelerate the Delivery of its Comprehensive and Open Sensor Fusion and Perception Platform for the Automotive and Mobility Market

LeddarTech®, a leader in ADAS and AD technology, is pleased to announce the acquisition of sensor fusion and perception software company VayaVision.

Read more here.

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