Spring is funding season for Brammo and Lit Motors


Brammo raised another $9.5 million, and Lit Motors got a badly-needed $1 million investment. It is just a few more millions for Brammo, but will it be enough for Lit Motors to develop a production-ready C1?

More of the same for Brammo. And once again, Craig Bramscher, the founder of Brammo Motorcycles, is talking about an IPO, this time within the 2015-2017 time frame. Earlier this year, he mentioned an IPO linked to the possibility of building an electric car. It almost seems like Craig is obsessed with the IPO, even though the firm has been able to regularly raise money: $10 million in 2008, $12.5 million in 2010, $28 million in 2011, $13 million in 2012, $4.5 million in 2013, $9.5 million in 2014, for a total of $87.5 million.


In 2011 Brammo also received the support of a minor investor, Polaris, the ATV and motorcycle manufacturer. So it looks like Brammo can now concentrate on manufacturing and distributing its electric motorcycles. And think about where it goes from here, in terms of products. If it is serious about an IPO, there has to be a clear road map for developing a range of electric motorcycles. Think Tesla, with its road map of model S in 2013, model X in 2015, and model E in 2017.


Lit Motors is at a different stage in its development, and this $1 million investment is more like a last chance. Since its first presentation of an early C1 prototype in 2010, a revolutionary enclosed electric motorcycle balanced by a complex system of gyroscopes, the firm seems to have gotten off track. It started taking orders in 2012 for the $24,000 C1, but final prototypes never materialized. In 2013, it announced a new cargo scooter, the Kubo, to be financed via Kickstarter.

To the rescue came a group of successful entrepreneurs, among them Mark Pincus, the co-founder of Zynga, and Yves Behar, the famous designer. Besides the $1 million sorely needed investment, they will lend their expertise to move the project forward. Danny Kim, the founder and CEO of Lit Motors, talks now of a production-ready C1 by the end of the year. The Kubo project has been put back on the shelves, and it seems that the firm has found a new impetus. Its newly found backers have deep pockets, but it is show time for Lit Motors, and it better finishes that C1 prototype…

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