German electric vehicle manufacturer, e.GO Mobile, raises €30M to start its production of e.GO Life NEXT

Electric Vehicles

Next.e.GO Mobile, an Aachen, Germany-based electric vehicle manufacturer, has announced that it has raised €30M in its Series B round of funding to start the production of its German factory and support the company’s growth.

In September 2020, nd Industrial Investments BV, part of international private equity company nd Group BV, had acquired a majority stake in Next.e.GO. 

nd Group BV is a PE and holding company, headquartered in the Netherlands. It was founded in 2008 and primarily focuses on EV, alternative energy, fintech, healthtech, industrial assets, and real estate.

Investors in this round

The round saw participation from renowned international investors including Moore Strategic Ventures (MSV), the privately held investment company for Louis M. Bacon, founder & CEO of Moore Capital Management, LP; John Snow, previous US Secretary of Treasury; Alejandro Agag, the founder and Chairman of Formula E and a pioneer in EV racing; and Edward Norton – a three-time Academy award-nominated actor, writer, director and co-founder of technology companies such as CrowdRise and EDO.

Use of the funds

The raised capital will help the company to start the production of the e.GO Life, a four-seater passenger car, at the company’s facility in Aachen, this June. The production of the car will initially focus on a special-limited edition e.GO Life NEXT, only available to the first 1,000 customers, and is priced at €22.990 including VAT.

“We are very pleased with the success of the Series B funding and more so with the quality and impact of our great investors, who have joined the Next.e.GO journey in driving the transformation of carbon-free urban mobility and offering true life-cycle sustainability” says Ali Vezvaei, CEO of nd Group B.V. and Member of the Board at Next.e.GO Mobile.

About Next.e.GO Mobile SE

The company is led by Günther Schuh, founder and Chairman of the Administrative Board, Next.e.GO Mobile SE. It is currently developing an electric four-seater passenger car, e.GO Life. 

In addition, the company is working closely with suppliers of electronics and plastic components to progress on all fronts.

In February 2020, the company launched the e.GO Life Concept Cross as a city utility vehicle and a clean utility vehicle at the same time. The vehicle offers a 72 kW electric motor and a larger battery than the e.GO Life 60. Currently, the e.GO Life Concept Cross is available for pre-order in Geneva. The company’s e.GO Life Sport is also available for pre-order.

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Gardin raises $1.2M pre-seed to use ‘optical phenotyping’ tech to improve food production

Gardin, a ‘deep tech’ hardware and software startup developing optical phenotyping technology and analytics to optimise food production, has raised $ 1.2 million in pre-seed funding.

Leading the round is LDV Capital, with participation from Seedcamp, and MMC Ventures. A number of angel investors are also investing, including Pratima Aiyagari, Gilad Engel, and Abdulaziz Alrashed.

Founded in late 2019, Gardin’s mission, in the U.K. company’s own words, is to help everyone access high quality, nutritious food that is “good for you and for our planet”.

Specifically, the startup is developing tech for farms based on its own “optical phenotyping” hardware and accompanying analytics software. The idea is to enable food producers to measure and monitor the nutritional value of food, from “seed to plate in a real world environment,” rather than a lab.

“With deployment of Gardin’s OS, insight from our analytics will be delivered to help food producers optimise production, grow nutritious food, lower carbon footprint and reduce waste,” says founder and CEO Sumanta Talukdar. “At Gardin, we want to empower food producers to feed the world consciously, sustainably and nutritionally, as it should be”.

Talukdar says he started the company after learning that the traditional food industry currently “does not, or cannot, quantifiably measure food nutrition and quality”. This has seen Gardin partner with some of the leading crop and plant physiologists, phenotyping experts and plant scientists to identify the key biochemical mechanisms in various crops related to plant physiology.

“By designing hardware to specifically measure the signatures of these mechanisms, Gardin is able to quantify plant physiology and key compounds density with high fidelity (i.e. signal/noise ratio) at a cost similar to consumer electronics goods,” he explained. To achieve this, Gardin is employing a multispectral data fusion approach, using a suite of remote sensing and computer vision techniques to capture very specific data which is then “fused” to drive the analytics.

To that end, Gardin has been designed to assist both traditional and CEA (controlled environment agriculture), with the ambitious aim to become the new “food production gold standard”.

“Our full stack product is designed to run and optimise the entire growing environment running silently in the background like an OS i.e we are solving their problems, helping food producers grow higher quality food and reducing their operating costs and carbon footprint,” adds Talukdar.

“We have also designed our platform so we can integrate with their existing architectures. To us, asking a producer in what is already an asset heavy industry to change or add to their system to make us fit, was folly”.

In terms of traction, Talukdar says Gardin has already secured pilot trials that are ready to go live early this year with “key go-to-market clients. They include supermarket chains, food producers and vertical farms.

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The post Drove startup Wingcopter raises €18 million and announces serial production first appeared on EU-Startups.

EU-Startups

Rivian raises $2.65B as it pushes toward production of its electric pickup

Rivian has raised $ 2.65 billion as it prepares to begin production this summer of its all-electric pickup truck.

The round, which was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., also included Fidelity Management and Research Company, Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, Coatue and D1 Capital Partners as well as several other existing and new investors.

Rivian is now valued at $ 27.6 billion, according to a person familiar with the investment round.

The capital comes at a critical time for Rivian, which is undertaking the design, development, production and delivery of two consumer vehicles (the R1T pickup truck and the R1S SUV), and building out of its electric vehicle charging network as well as fulfilling an order for 100,000 commercial delivery vans for Amazon.

“The support and confidence of our investors enables us to remain focused on these launches while simultaneously scaling our business for our next stage of growth,” Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe said in a statement.

This latest round follows two years of heavy investment activity that began in earnest after the company unveiled its electric SUV and pickup truck at the 2018 LA Auto Show.

Just months after that reveal, Rivian announced a $ 700 million funding round led by Amazon. More deals and investments would follow, including a $ 500 million investment from Ford — along with a promise to collaborate on a future EV program — and a $ 350 million investment by Cox Automotive in September 2019. The company closed the year with an announcement that it had raised a $ 1.3 billion round led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. with additional participation from Amazon, Ford Motor Company and funds managed by BlackRock.

The stream of capital didn’t stop in 2020. Rivian announced in July it had raised $ 2.5 billion in a round led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. New investors Soros Fund Management LLC, Coatue, Fidelity Management and Research Company and Baron Capital Group along with existing shareholders Amazon and BlackRock joined the round.

To date, Rivian has raised $ 8 billion since the start of 2019.

Rivian factor Normal Illinois

Rivian’s factory in Normal, Illinois. Image Credits: Rivian

Rivian hasn’t held back on spending that capital. The company has put more than $ 1 billion into its factory in Normal, Illinois. The factory, which once produced the Mitsubishi Eclipse through a joint venture between Mitsubishi and Chrysler Corporation, has been completely updated and expanded.

The overhaul of the 3 million-square-foot factory is on schedule, but not yet complete, according to the company. A pilot line is operational and is producing validation prototypes of its R1T pickup truck daily.

Rivian also plans to produce the delivery vans for Amazon at the factory. The first van deliveries will be made to Amazon in late 2021.

Startups – TechCrunch