Los Angeles startup EVelocity, founded by three BMW veterans (who all also worked briefly for Faraday) has notable strength in global finance, automotive development and vehicle design.
Stefan Krause, former BMW and Deutsche Bank CFO, and BMW’s head of EVs, Ulrich Kranz, were two of FF’s top executives until recently leaving to launch their own EV startup and bring several other FF employees with them.
At the time, sources told Electrek that Krause was able to raise funds for his new startup using the groundwork that he had done on the previous deals that he tried to close for FF, but that ended up failing due to disagreements with Jia Yueting, FF’s main financial backer who is now in control of the company.
FF later ended up suing EVelozcity over alleged thefts of confidential information and poaching employees while still working at the startup.
Being already involved in a legal battle is not a great way to start a company, but it looks like they will be able to defend themselves since they now claim that the secured funds from investors.
Though not ready to show a planned line of three sub-$50,000 electric vehicles built off a common “skateboard” platform, EVelozcity has abeen able to raise $1 billion in funding committed to getting its vehicles on the road by 2021.
“That’s the ballpark you normally have to have, around a billion dollars, plus or minus. We have investment or commitments for this kind of amount of money,” Stefan Krause, EVelozcity’s CEO told Forbes, without elaborating. “We have a global group of financially oriented investors” from China, Europe and the U.S., whom he declined to identify.
Investors’ willingness to commit this level of resources to an unproven EV startup suggests high confidence in Krause and his co-founders, technology chief Ulrich Kranz and design chief Richard Kim. Krause is a 20-year BMW veteran who became its CFO and held that role at Deutsche Bank. Kranz spent more than 30 years with BMW’s R&D team and helped create models including its plug-in i3 hatchback and i8 supercar. Kim also helped design the i3 and i8, worked on VW and Audi designs, and even Embraer business jet interiors and luxury yachts. Support for EVelozcity may also come from what Krause calls its “asset-light” philosophy.