Electric Carmaker Canoo Set to Go Public

Rachel Uranga

Rachel Uranga is dot.LA's Managing Editor, News. She is a former Mexico-based market correspondent at Reuters and has worked for several Southern California news outlets, including the Los Angeles Business Journal and the Los Angeles Daily News. She has covered everything from IPOs to immigration. Uranga is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism and California State University Northridge. A Los Angeles native, she lives with her husband, son and their felines.

Electric Carmaker Canoo Set to Go Public

Electric car startup Canoo announced Tuesday plans to go public in a deal that values the company at $2.4 billion. It will be the fourth carmaker to do so this year as the industry rides on Tesla's soaring Wall Street valuations.

The merger with Hennessy Capital Acquisition, a special purpose acquisition company, gives Canoo access to $600 million that will help it produce and launch its first commercial vehicle by 2022.


It's also the second electric car company, behind Fisker in Los Angeles, to skip the traditional path to an IPO as the industry takes hold in Southern California. Earlier this year, the Chinese-owned luxury electric carmaker Karma, based in Irvine, said it was talks with investment bankers to go public. It is expected to close by the end in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Canoo Inc. will be listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "CNOO."

Canoo was founded in 2017 as Evelozcity by two former BMW executives. It opened up a waitlist in January for their eponymous prototype vehicle — a futuristic looking minivan — that it will offer to drivers as a subscription service. Canoo said its 300 workers designed, engineered and manufactured the beta vehicle in 19 months, completing more than 50 physical crash tests.

Canoo's "skateboard design" places components of the electric powertrain on a flatbed with wheels underneath the car much like a trailer.. Photo Courtesy of Canoo

Electric vehicle maker Rivian, which plans to sell electric pickup trucks next year, announced it raised $2.5 billion in July. It was followed by Los Angeles-based Fisker's news that it will go public in a deal with a SPAC valued at $2.9 billion. Both are direct competitors, although neither is on the market yet.

And Hyundai Motor Group, tapped the Torrance-based startup earlier this year to design the powertrain that will be used for their electric vehicles.

"Today marks an important milestone of Canoo's effort to reinvent the development, production and go-to-market model of the electric vehicle industry," said Canoo co-founder and CEO, Ulrich Kranz. "Our technology allows for rapid and cost-effective vehicle development through the world's flattest skateboard architecture, and we believe our subscription model will transform the consumer ownership experience.

Canoo's "skateboard design" places components of the electric powertrain on a flatbed with wheels underneath the car much like a trailer. That design can be switched out on different vehicle shells.

Elon Musk's publicly traded Tesla, now valued at at $351.4 billion, became the most valuable car company in the world this July. And while it only produces a fraction of the world's new cars, its skyrocketing share value has given momentum to the $95 billion electric vehicle market, with sales expected to quadruple by 2025.

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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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Liquid Death May Just Be The 'Fastest Growing Non-Alcoholic Beverage Of All Time'

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

Liquid Death May Just Be The 'Fastest Growing Non-Alcoholic Beverage Of All Time'
Liquid Death Files Paperwork to Raise $15 Million

When Santa Monica-based Liquid Death launched with funding from neighboring venture capital firm Science Inc. in 2018, the Los Angeles startup world – and everyone else – had nothing but jokes. But with the company’s latest $700 million valuation, it appears the joke is on the rest of us.

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