In one of the largest clean tech investments in history, Better Place, a Palo Alto, CA-based electric vehicle services provider, has signed an agreement with an HSBC led investor consortium for a $350m Series B equity financing.
Investors in the round include new investors HSBC, which led the round with an investment of $125m and will own approximately 10% of the company’s shares, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Lazard Asset Management. They will join existing Series A investors including Israel Corp., VantagePoint Venture Partners, Ofer Hi-Tech Holdings, Morgan Stanley Principal Investments, and Maniv Energy Capital, among others, as shareholders of the company.
As part of the deal, Kevin Adeson, HSBC Head of Global Capital Financing, will join the Better Place’s board of directors.
The capital infusion will allow the company to expand in Europe and Asia while continuing to implement its R&D plan.
In particular, Better Place:
– is meeting its timetable for Israel and Denmark launch plans for the end of 2011 (when the first Renault switchable battery electric cars will be launched)
– will implement its strategy of early deployment projects in Australia and select North American markets a few months after the Israel and Denmark launches as planned.
– is testing each element of its solution around the world in a multi-phase cycle, beginning with the company’s managed EV network in Denmark, which began last December, and a Tokyo electric taxi project with battery switch station, which kicks off in April this year.
These and other development milestones lead up to full-scale trials in the second half of 2010 and commercial launch in 2011.
The transaction, which will bring the value of Better Place at $1.25bn, is subject to approval by antitrust regulators and other customary closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2010.
The company has operating companies in Israel, Denmark, and Australia.