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When Tesla IPO’d in 2010, they were the only game in town.

Over the last decade, they’ve managed to maintain the top spot in the EV car space.

Currently valued at $400B, they claim just over 1% of the rapidly growing U.S. auto market (Statista). 

They’ve led advancements in battery and motor technology, but more importantly…

Tesla has proven the market’s demand and made electric vehicles mainstream.

In doing so, they’ve also paved the way for others to enter the EV space.

That’s exactly what we’re seeing now.

Some are creating products to support EV adoption and others directly compete with Tesla’s product offering.

Nonetheless, it’s an exciting time in a revolutionary market.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the latest Unicorns (companies with $1B valuations) born in this ‘electrifying’ space.

P.S. If you like what’s going on in the electric vehicle space and the promise it holds for the future…we’ve got something coming that will BLOW YOUR MIND. Stay tuned and keep reading my emails for more details.

 

EV Unicorns Are Born 

 

The coming years will see electric vehicles taking the centerstage of the automotive industry, and investors know it. 

It’s not just Tesla — the unicorn company, 400 times over… there have been an impressive number of EV startups that earned unicorn status. 

Here are a few of the EV unicorns you should know about.

 

ChargePoint

 

ChargePoint is a California-based EV infrastructure company. It is the largest network of independently owned EV charging stations. ChargePoint is backed by Big Oil, the California Energy Commission, and Tesla’s largest investor. 

At its last round of funding, its post-money valuation was over $1.5 billion, according to Sharespost.

In 2017, ChargePoint managed 34,900 charging stations across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Australia before taking over another 9,800 from GE. 

In September of 2019, the company reached 100,000 total chargers and was adding more than 2,000 more each month. 

By 2025, ChargePoint plans to have over 2,500,000 stations. 

Chargepoint has announced that it will go public through a reverse merger (SPAC) with Switchback Energy Acquisition Corp. This will boost ChargePoint’s valuation significantly and provide a permanent source of capital to fuel their rapid-growth ambitions. 

They plan to use $493 million to fund the expansion of the charging stations through North America and Europe and boost R&D on hardware, software, and services.

 

Arrival

 

Arrival is an EV company focused on the production of commercial vans and buses for public transportation. This London-based startup was founded in 2015 and it only took a few years for it to reach unicorn status, being valued at around $3.8 billion as of 2020.

What’s special about Arrival’s products is their modular design. Busses and vans start as a universal “skateboard” that can then be customized to the customer’s preference. The length, range, and capacity are customizable, allowing vehicles to be used in many applications.

Arrival manufactures its vehicles in special Microfactories. They use existing commercial spaces for “cell-based” assembly instead of the traditional automotive production line. Microfactories source from their local area, reducing the environmental impact of manufacturing. Also, the proprietary materials used to make the vehicles are recyclable at any stage of the product’s life.

Arrival now claims that its electric vehicles will be the first to cost the same as their gas and diesel equivalents.

Hyundai and Kia both invested in Arrival. The deal allows the two established carmakers to use Arrival’s technology to make their models electric. 

In other big EV news, UPS recently placed a massive order with Arrival. The shipping giant plans to purchase 10,000 of its electric vans to use as shipping vehicles. This is a part of UPS’s plans to lower its emissions moving forward, a trend seen across many industries. 

Ola Electric Mobility

 

Ola Electric is an Indian EV unicorn that brings electric vehicles into the sharing economy to solve India’s growing pollution problem.

India has set a target of 6 million electric vehicles on the road by the end of 2020. Until now, the high cost of batteries, lack of charging stations, and limited vehicle range has kept progress slow.

This is set to change as Ola brings the full solution for EV ridesharing and EV to the nation’s massive, $12 billion taxi market.

The startup has launched its two-wheel and three-wheel vehicle pilot programs across the country and is building charging stations and swappable battery systems. Ola should have 10,000 new EVs on the roads by the end of 2020. 

Hyundai and Kia invested in this EV venture as well. Ola Electric’s parent company received $300 million from the South Korean companies in an effort to expand their mobility solutions and EV programs.

But it was Softbank’s $250 million investment that tipped the scales, bringing Ola Electric well above a $1 billion valuation, granting it unicorn status.

The latest news from Ola is that it’s stepping into the powersport space. On May 27, 2020, Ola acquired the Amsterdam-based EV startup Etergo to leverage its e-scooter technology. The two-wheeled, sitdown scooters will be tested and deployed alongside the company’s other low-cost, highly-scalable vehicles.

 

Nikola Motor Company

 

Nikola Motors designs and manufactures heavy-duty EV trucks and powersport vehicles. Despite being pre-revenue and being years away from production, in June of 2020 Nikola Motors’ valuation soared above $20 billion during its IPO, according to Business Insider.

Nikola is perhaps the most on-track company to capitalize on the untapped EV freight truck market. Its first priority is its line of hybrid hydrogen-electric trucks, but that hasn’t stopped the Arizona-based unicorn from branching out into powersports as well with its own electric pickup truck, the Nikola Badger.

Down the road, Nikola hopes to take over the freight trucking market and compete with Tesla in the consumer electric car market.

Its new line of powersports targets the consumer and military markets. It currently has two types of ATVs and one personal watercraft, all fully-electric.

Nikola is another EV startup to go public via reverse acquisition. The company joined with VectoIQ Acquisition Corporation which is run by a former General Motors executive. This led to the company being listed on the NASDAQ exchange. 

Despite acquisitions questioning that validity of their technology claims, they have a major deal underway with GM. 

The partnership would see GM acquiring an 11% stake in Nikola and nominate a member of its board. In exchange, GM will work with Nikola to manufacture the Badger pickup truck using GM’s facilities. 

Another incentive for GM is the carbon credits it will earn from the manufacture of an EV. The agreement has GM keeping 80% of all carbon credits from the Badger, that GM can sell to other automakers to offset their CO2 emissions.

At the time of negotiations, Nikola’s valuation was marked at around $2 billion.

The EV space is producing Unicorns (companies with a $1 billion valuation or greater) at an incredible pace. What EV companies do you think will be the next to join the growing list?

Let me know in the comments below! 

 

 

Author: Chris Graebe

 

There’s no denying that the electric vehicle (EV) space is one of the hottest out there.

Headlines like these are becoming the norm… 

EV charging network ChargePoint to go public via SPAC

GM unveils ‘Factory Zero’ as it embarks on electric vehicle push

Nikola And Hyliion Partner With SPACs; What’s Next For EV Trucks?

As an angel investor, it’s an industry and trend you simply can’t ignore.

At this point, it’s clear, the future of cars, trucks, buses, trains…the transportation world as a whole…is electric. 

And I’ve spent the last few months really immersing myself in this space.

I’ve looked at the catalysts driving the push to electric…explored the related developments with battery technology, charging, manufacturing…and identified some of the fastest-growing verticals in this sector.

 

What’s Pushing EVs Forward?

 

Things change rapidly in the EV market and it can be hard to keep up. That’s why I’d like to show you the latest game-changing trends and developments so you can understand the immense potential in this space.  

 

Electric Cars

 

2019 was a great year for electric passenger cars. Around 2.1 million units were sold, surpassing the previous record from the year before — a 40% compound annual growth rate. This puts the global stock of electric cars at around 7.2 million.

The top markets for electric cars are China, the U.S., and Europe, with China leading the trio. Both China and Europe have led regulatory initiatives to decrease the use of internal combustion engines (ICEs) in lieu of electric vehicles. China has gone as far as to restrict the registration of new ICE vehicles.

The U.S., while lacking in such government intervention, has seen greater adoption of EVs mostly due to the growing popularity of EV brands like Tesla Motors as well as ever-growing environmental concerns among citizens.

Moving into 2021, it appears the electric car market will only grow stronger. Sales are set to jump another 36%. This should break the record for most units sold in a year, around 3 million vehicles, putting the total global stock at around 10 million electric cars.

 

Electric Transit Buses

 

Transit buses have switched over to EV technology extremely quickly. Already, 43 states have invested in electric buses. These vehicles are already fully available at the commercial level. By 2040, 80% of all transit buses globally will be electric.

Meanwhile, other similar classes of electric vehicles like school buses, delivery trucks, electric shuttles, and garbage trucks are in the early stages of commercialization.

For electric buses, an important part of the story is the Volkswagen settlement. In short, VW cheated emissions regulations and was forced to settle in court for $14.7 billion. As a part of the settlement, much of that money has been invested into zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, programs, and public awareness. Another chunk of that money was made into a trust that will fund projects that reduce diesel emissions.

The electric bus industry has benefited greatly from funding paid for by the settlement. Government agencies have received large sums to invest in zero-emission initiatives. For example, the state of New York will receive $127 million from the settlement that will be invested into electric buses and EV charging infrastructure. This is helping the U.S. push forward EV initiatives without the strict regulation used in other countries.

Electric transit buses have caught on because of their relatively low up-front cost compared to trains and the clear long-term efficiency in terms of energy and repairs.

 

Electric Freight Trucks

 

The process of commercializing electric trucks has been slow. But now, with pressure from regulators, advancing technology, and huge investments from major EV players, the time seems right for trucks to swing in the favor of electrification.

Tesla, VW, Daimler, and Volvo have invested heavily in all-electric trucks. And, after years of technological advancement, come all-electric trucks can finally beat diesel in terms of ownership costs.

Here’s the problem with diesel trucking — medium- and heavy-duty trucks only represent 9% of the global vehicle stock and yet they create 39% of the transport sectors’ greenhouse gas emissions. Most trucks are powered by large, highly-polluting diesel engines and clock high annual mileage.

We are in luck because by 2030, electric trucks are expected to have 9.4% market penetration globally. This modest growth surely won’t be the end, as innovation in electric trucks continues pushing overhead down and long-term benefits up.

 

Electric Trains

 

Countries like Japan, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, China, India, and Russia have all made significant investments in electrifying their railway systems, all benefitting from large investments made by their emissions-conscious governments.

The U.S. has not made much progress with electric trains, mainly because most of our train systems are private, and making huge EV investments just isn’t viable for them. While it’s up for debate if the U.S. will move towards electric trains any time soon, the technology is still highly in demand globally.

Electro Diesel trains already hold the largest shark in the market as of 2019, and Hybrid trains are predicted to grow over 6% each year between 2020 and 2025.

For electric trains, the economic incentive is as clear as the environmental one. Regular trains are already 1.9 to 5.5 times more efficient than trucks at moving freight with fewer labor costs and less pollution. On top of that, electric trains are far more efficient than diesel trains. With diesel, around 30 to 35% of generated energy is transferred to the wheels, whereas electric trains can transfer upwards of 95% of energy to the wheels.

Furthermore, the cost of electric train engines is about 20% less than its diesel counterpart while electric maintenance costs are 25 to 35% cheaper than maintenance on diesel trains.

If the expensive initial infrastructure investment can be met, electric vehicles can win in the long run.

 

Powersports, E-Scooters, E-Bikes

 

Powersports are vehicles like motorcycles, scooters, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, and personal watercraft.

Between 2019 and 2027, the global market for electric motorcycles and scooters is predicted to grow to $14.29B — a 7.1% compound annual growth rate. 

Companies like Polaris, BRP, Harley Davidson, and Kawasaki are pushing U.S. growth of Powersports and are heavily investing in electric vehicles. Also, Tesla recently demonstrated its new all-electric ATV that comes with the infamous Cybertruck. This all comes as the demand for recreational vehicles rises in the U.S. as does the demand for cleaner, eco-friendly vehicles.

Another important part of the EV market is micro-mobility vehicles. These bring EV technology into the sharing economy. E-scooters and e-bikes are shared electric vehicles perfect for high-congestion urban areas. These are currently available in over 600 cities across the world, and already, 25% of all two- and three-wheeled vehicles are electric.

 

EV Charging Technology

 

One of the most important parts of the entire EV ecosystem is charging stations. They are the gas stations of electric vehicles. An essential factor in convincing consumers to adopt EV technology is the availability of charging stations.

Luckily, charging infrastructure is one of the fastest-growing areas of EV technology, with a projected 32% compound annual growth rate from 2020 to 2027.

Governments know that the growth of electric cars hinges on these charging stations. A few years ago, the California Energy commissions gave $4 million in funding to ChargePoint Inc. to install charging stations across California highways. Meanwhile, major car manufacturers are working on charging solutions like autonomous park-an-charge, ultra-fast direct-current charging networks, and wireless charging.

We’re just scratching the surface of EV technology and its capabilities. What are some of your favorite areas for electric vehicle technology? Have you made any investments in this sector?

Let me know in the comments below! 

Author: Chris Graebe

 

 

When I read the news that Empathy Wines was acquired by Constellation Brands…the $35B giant of the alcohol industry…

I was blown away.

It wasn’t the acquisition itself that surprised me (that’s common in this space) –– it was how quickly they were snatched up.

You see, it was just last year that entrepreneur and internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk set out to disrupt the wine industry.

Empathy Wines used a direct-to-consumer model to bring high-quality wines direct from vineyards to the consumer for half the price.

At the time of acquisition this July, they’d only sold 15,000 cases with around $3.6 million in revenue.

To give you some perspective… 

The alcohol company we just invested in has already sold 200,000 cases of their flagship wine-based product.

My point with all this? 

Acquisitions can happen at record speed in the alcohol industry, especially when you have something of extreme value.

In this case, it was Empathy’s brand building know-how, their consumer data, and direct-to-consumer model –– all things Constellation was willing to pay big for.

Now let’s take a look at some other acquisitions in the alcohol space.

I think you’ll find the 3rd on the list (Seedlip) pretty interesting…

 

Alcohol Acquisitions

 

One of the best ways to judge the potential of an industry is to look at its exits. If you find an industry with many startups that have been recently acquired or gone public, you have found yourself a hot industry. 

Right now, the adult beverage industry is hot. Over the past few years, we have seen huge changes in the industry give way to numerous IPOs and loads of acquisitions.

In today’s market, there is a mad dash for new products that can connect to consumers on health, lifestyle, and marketing. Capturing the changing demand of younger, digitally-native drinkers has become an absolute priority for beverage companies. Even the most established brands are needing to pivot, often filling in portfolio gaps through acquisition.

You need to be watching this space. 

Investors who know just a bit about the happenings here can find outstanding opportunities.

Today, I’m going to show you some recent exits. These exits cast light upon the biggest trends within this diverse and active market.

 

Radiant Pig Beer Company

 

Radiant Pig is a craft beer company that has found success with its line of innovative beers that vibe with modern drinking culture. 

Colorful label designs and humorous beer names like “Save the Robots”, “It Ain’t Easy Double IPA”, and “TV Party,” catch the eye and make for a fun and engaging brand identity. Beauce of this, and its outstanding brews, Radiant Pig has become a force within the New York City craft beer scene. 

Newport Craft Brewing & Distilling Co. has brewed and built a portfolio of over 100 distinctive beers and spirits over the last 20 years. The Rhode Island-based company has a way of keeping things local. It found Radiant Pig to fit right in with their Northeastern, New England-style brand.

Newport Craft acquired Radiant Pig in June of 2020. This partnership bodes well for both parties, as Newport gains the trending momentum of Radiant Pig, Radiant Pig can now surmount numerous scaling hurdles that had kept them from meeting the ever-growing demand. 

One of the biggest changes in the alcohol industry has been the shift away from traditional domestic beers towards craft beers. In 2019, the only types of beer that saw any growth were craft and foreign beers. Even staple, flagship brands like Budweiser and Coors reported losses that year. 

Craft beer is the beer to look out for in the current market. Big-brand breweries are buying up craft startups like Radiant Pig to future-proof and balance out their beer portfolios.

 

Seedlip

 

Seedlip is a fascinating startup that makes a surprising product. This company makes the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit.

UK-based Seedlip draws inspiration and distilling methods from a 17th-century text, “The Art of Distillation” that explains how to distill herbal remedies using copper stills for medicinal purposes. 

Now, these arcane recipes are used to make sophisticated and complex alcohol-free spirits like Spice 94, Garden 108, and Grove 42 for the rapidly-growing market of consumers who choose not to drink.

In the UK, 22% of people aged 16 to 24 and 20% of people aged 65 and up abstain from drinking alcohol. And yet, these people still celebrate, eat at restaurants, and socialize at parties. Now they can take part in the ritual of sharing a glass with friends and family without harming their health or principles.

Health is one of the biggest selling points in the new adult beverage market, with many customers report a strong preference for low-calorie, natural, and low- or no-alcohol drinks.

As silly as this all may seem to some, the idea was good enough for the largest spirits company in the world, Diageo, to pull out its checkbook. 

On August 7, 2019, Diageo acquired Seedlip for an undisclosed amount. With just three products, Seedlip had built a presence in more than 25 countries. Being a pioneer of the no-alcohol spirit made Seedlip extremely attractive — with the purchase, Diageo essentially gained the entire worldwide customer-base for non-alcoholic spirits. 

 

BrewBilt Manufacturing

 

BrewBilt designs and manufactures specialty craft brewing systems. This is a company that serves the companies in the growing craft beer industry. 

BrewBilt satisfies all the needs of a budding craft brewery from consultation, manufacturing, and maintenance. After a meeting to discuss the specific needs of the brewer, BrewBilt builds a custom system using only American-made components made of high-grade American stainless steel. Finally, their technicians install the system and maintain it for up to six years. 

They do this not only in craft beer systems but cannabis and hemp processing systems too. 

In 2016, just two years after its founding, BrewBilt went public. After the IPO the company went live on the market selling at $1,770 per share, giving early investors a massive payday.

 

BNA Wine Group

 

BNA Wine Group is a startup that became famous for its unique California wine selection. BNA wines manage to be distinctive, premium, and on-trend without losing accessibility. This recipe helped them secure many retail partners across the country. Offerings like their Butternut, Volunteer, and Humble Pie wines quickly gained recognition, winning awards and converting loyal customers.

California wine empire, Miller Family Wine Company, saw what BNA had accomplished and wanted to bring it into their wine portfolio. Miller Family Wine is a multigenerational family-owned business and one of California’s premier wine-growing families.

On October 13, 2020, it was announced that Miller would acquire BNA in a spectacular Cali-winemaking union. Along with diversifying its wine portfolio, Miller stands to use BNA’s customer-favorite wines to deepen its presence in retail chains and to expand its DTC channels.

This acquisition again follows the industry-wide trend of large companies seeking out young premium and craft startups.

 

Cocktail Crate

 

Finally, we have Cocktail Crate. 

In 2012, 24-year old Alex Abbott Boyd quit his job to pursue his dream of creating craft cocktail mixes. Seeing the demand for authentic, natural mixers, he began formulating recipes to revolutionize the way people drink at home. With just $5,000 raised via crowdfunding, he set off and started Cocktail Crate. 

For as much as people love cocktails, not everyone loves making them. It’s difficult, time-consuming, and requires many ingredients. Cocktail Crate solves this problem.

Premium mixers for home and personal use come at the perfect time amid a long-running trend toward socializing and drinking at home, away from bars and restaurants. As of 2018, 55% of American consumers prefer drinking at home. Products, like the ones offered by Cocktail Crate, capitalize on this trend, allowing for enjoyable, premium cocktails right in your backyard.

Don’t let the humble beginnings fool you, Cocktail Crate quickly became incredibly popular, eventually garnering the attention of Michigan whisky icon Traverse City Whiskey Co. This craft distillery saw huge potential in selling non-alcoholic products like mixers alongside their whisky. 

On October 14, 2019, Traverse City acquired Cocktail Crate for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition shows the popularity of not only craft beverages and products, but also the shift towards at-home drinking we have seen recently.

 


The alcohol company we just invested $125,000 into is now accepting investors. Get instant access to our complete Investor Package, analysis of the company’s upsides and risks, and investing portal.


 

Author: Chris Graebe