Get in the KNOW
on LA Startups & TechX
Electric vehicle startup Phoenix Motorcars went public today—raising only 10% of its originally planned, $150 million IPO target in a reflection of the bearish conditions facing both EV stocks and the stock market at large.
The Anaheim-based company raised a total of $15.75 million through its initial public offering Wednesday, pricing 2.1 million shares of its common stock at $7.50 per share. That’s well shy of the $150 million raise it targeted when filing for its IPO in December.
Phoenix—which makes all-electric, light- and medium-duty fleet vehicles including buses and trucks—also had a rough first day of trading on the Nasdaq, where it’s listed under the ticker symbol PEV. The EV startup’s stock plunged almost immediately after it started trading, ending the day down 46% at $4.06 per share.
Phoenix Chief Marketing Officer Jose Paul Plackal told dot.LA that the company had to re-price its offering to account for the negativity surrounding the equities market, which has not spared EV stocks.
“It really is the overall market [and] how it's done between now and the end of last year,” Plackal said. “The EV market is significantly compressed and the overall market sentiment is very, very different from what it was when we initially priced the IPO… If you look at the immediate [competitive set] of other EV companies who are offering products in the medium-duty space—from Lion Electric to Lightning to Workhorse—all of these stocks have significantly compressed.”
Phoenix banked on the IPO as a way to raise capital to finance its operations, which are mounting in cost. According to its S-1 prospectus filed with the SEC, Phoenix sustained net losses of $14.6 million in 2021 and lost another $2.3 million in the first quarter of 2022. In the same filing’s risk factors, the company said it “may never generate positive net cash flow or become profitable” at all.
The IPO funding will go toward scaling Phoenix’s low-volume production facility in Anaheim, expanding its roughly 50-person team and developing new vehicles, Plackal said. He noted that the company could eventually team with third-party manufacturers as it looks to ramp up production in the future, but for now is making do with its current operations.
Plackal added that Phoenix has been impacted by the same production issues that many EV makers are facing—namely, supply chain constraints which have made it difficult to acquire valuable components like semiconductors and batteries. The company’s customers include Los Angeles Air Force Base, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena and Los Angeles International Airport, all of which use Phoenix’s electric shuttle buses.
Phoenix does not currently have plans to raise more money beyond its IPO, according to Plackal.
“We decided to go for it to fund our growth plans,” he said of the IPO. “We felt it was most prudent to go ahead with it and get the funds which [are] required to support different applications, including continuing funding the [research and development] and new generation vehicles.”