Fara­day Fu­ture se­cures $14m in bridge fund­ing

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By LIA ZHU in San Francisco li­azhu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The elec­tric ve­hi­cle startup Fara­day Fu­ture has re­cently se­cured $14 mil­lion in bridge fund­ing while it seeks new in­vest­ment sources.

“The $14 mil­lion is the bridge fund­ing till the Se­ries A. We are in the process of seek­ing $1 bil­lion in fund­ing through a Se­ries A fundrais­ing cam­paign, with a tar­get of $500 mil­lion by the end of Q3, and the other fund­ing by early 2018,” Dan Zhu, a spokes­woman with Fara­day, told China Daily on Mon­day.

The com­pany has pledged its cor­po­rate head­quar­ters in Los An­ge­les as col­lat­eral to se­cure the res­cue loan from In­no­va­tus Cap­i­tal Part­ners, a New York in­vest­ment firm, for a term of one year, ac­cord­ing to a Wall Street Jour­nal re­port on Aug. 3.

In­no­va­tus Cap­i­tal Part­ners de­clined to com­ment.

The startup’s planned $1 bil­lion fund­ing is aimed to pro­tect it­self from the fi­nan­cial woes of its pri­mary backer, LeEco.

Early last month, the as­sets of Jia Yuet­ing, LeEco’s founder and chair­man, val­ued at about $183 mil­lion, were frozen by a Shang­hai court af­ter LeEco failed to pay in­ter­est due on bank loans taken out to fund its smart­phone busi­ness.

But FF said that devel­op­ment has no im­pact on the startup’s daily op­er­a­tions, as LeEco and FF have been two sep­a­rate com­pa­nies since the lat­ter was founded in 2014.

FF has re­cently signed a lease on a new fac­tory in Han- ford, Cal­i­for­nia, as it was shift­ing its man­u­fac­tur­ing fo­cus to a turnkey fa­cil­ity that of­fers a faster path to pro­duc­tion.

A cleanup process has be­gun to pre­pare the site for the ar­rival of the man­u­fac­tur­ing equip­ment.

Over the week­end, the com­pany hosted an event for the new fa­cil­ity, which is 1 mil­lion square feet (92,888 square me­ters) and will even­tu­ally em­ploy up to 1,300 work­ers over three shifts.

“We know there is a lot of work and risks ahead, but this event rep­re­sents a ma­jor step for­ward for the com­pany,” said Ste­fan Krause, COO and CFO, in a state­ment.

Krause, a former Deutsche Bank ex­ec­u­tive and BMW Global CFO, joined the startup re­cently to drive in­vestor di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion.

The com­pany also hired Ul­rich Kranz, former se­nior

vice-pres­i­dent at BMW as CTO.

FF will con­tinue the process of site prepa­ra­tions, in­clud­ing plan­ning, re­fur­bish­ment and per­mit­ting.

Fol­low­ing the de­par­ture of cur­rent ten­ants in late Novem­ber, the com­pany ex­pects sig­nif­i­cant ac­tiv­ity on site in early 2018.

But it did not pro­vide an up­date on the con­struc­tion of the orig­i­nally planned 3 mil­lion-square-foot fac­tory in North Las Ve­gas.

Qiong Liu, North Las Ve­gas city man­ager, told Reuters ear­lier this year that the com­pany would build a 60,390-squareme­ter fa­cil­ity be­gin­ning later this year.

It has ended talks with the city of Vallejo, Cal­i­for­nia, for a planned se­cond fac­tory on a 157-acre site on the city’s Mare Is­land.

LeEco and FF are in­tri­cately linked. Jia has per­son­ally in­vested $300 mil­lion in FF. The cash crunch at LeEco has wors­ened since Novem­ber last year, when Jia ad­mit­ted pub­licly that it was ex­pand­ing too fast into smart­phones, au­to­mo­biles, the cloud and in­ter­net fi­nance.

In May, Jia stepped down as chief ex­ec­u­tive of Shen­zhen­listed Leshi In­ter­net In­for­ma­tion and Tech­nol­ogy Corp, the com­pany’s video-stream­ing branch.

Fara­day Fu­ture’s tar­get in fund­ing through a Se­ries A fundrais­ing cam­paign

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