Aug 18, 2020 - Economy

Electric vehicle startup Canoo is going public

Image of the Canoo "loft on wheels"

Photo: Canoo

Canoo is slated to become the latest fledgling electric vehicle player to go public via merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Why it matters: A number of electric vehicle companies are using that model in place of traditional IPOs to raise money and begin trading.

  • Lordstown Motors and Fisker both announced SPAC deals this summer, while Nikola Motors began trading in June after one of the transactions.

The state of play: Los Angeles-based Canoo announced Tuesday the merger with Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. IV.

  • The deal will take Canoo public at a valuation of $2.4 billion, the companies said.
  • It's bringing in investments from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock and others, providing Canoo with about $600 million in new capital.

The backdrop: Canoo is looking to lure consumers with a subscription-based model for an eponymously-named "lifestyle" vehicle it hopes to launch in 2022. It's envisioned as an "urban loft on wheels," Axios' Joann Muller reported last year.

  • "In addition, Canoo has designed a commercial delivery [business-to-business] vehicle with expected availability in 2023 that directly capitalizes on Canoo's core skateboard technology," per the SPAC announcement.
  • The company's skateboard architecture has attracted outside interest too, with Hyundai announcing this year that it plans to develop future vehicles using it.

Go deeper: SPACs are the new IPOs

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