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Tesla IPO


Sep 1, 2006
Well that was a lot of information in a brief article. Possible alliance(s) with other auto makers, IPOs, and changing the name of Whitestar. Where to begin...

We already know Musk and the VCs plan on making their bundle with the IPO. But what about the joint venture possibilities? I'd like a Ford or Chrysler to license the EV aspect or flat out buy a 49% stake.


Well-Known Member
Dec 8, 2007
We already know Musk and the VCs plan on making their bundle with the IPO. But what about the joint venture possibilities? I'd like a Ford or Chrysler to license the EV aspect or flat out buy a 49% stake.

Seems that's the general reponse from the blogs, that Musk & the VCs will sell out the company. Don't know if that's what's best for the company, but I still like it better if they stay independent at least from the large auto companies, as I think if they succeed, Tesla may one day best even those large companies.

Here it doesn't say that they will be developing the Bluestar along with the Whitestar, as we have heard before. That maybe too quick of a pace esp. when the Roadsters haven't really been delivered yet. We still haven't heard much about the progress on the Whitestar, but the $50,000 to $60,000 price is reaffirmed, though it doesn't mean much as they might have to raise the price later on (like they did with the roadster).

"Musk also said the company may partner with another company to develop a lower-cost electric car."
Not sure what this quote is referring to, but it makes sense that they may partner another company to develop either the Whitestar or Bluestar (though not so much with the Whitestar since they said that they wanted to build their own factory for it).


Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
SF Bay Area
Elon Musk talks Tesla IPO, funding | Green Tech - CNET News.com

Elon Musk, the chairman and major funder of Tesla Motors, said here Saturday that he plans to take his electric sports car company public by the end of 2008.
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Oct 30, 2006
South of Portland, OR
It will be interesting to see the reception on Wall Street. Most of the hot money won't be willing to buy into something that could take 2-3 years to gain traction. On the other hand, $100M isn't out of range of enthusiasts.


Active Member
Nov 12, 2006
On the other hand, $100M isn't out of range of enthusiasts.

I agree but if Tesla needs the money to make a REEV whilst larger automakers are also making REEVs, is there going to be enough in Tesla's plans for Whitestar to engage the enthusiasts?

I'm sure Elon is charismatic and persuasive - but I guess so is Henrick Fisker. Then there's Maximum Bob - who doesn't need to be charismatic or persuasive - he can just subsidise the Volt to drive similar products out of the market.

"What makes Whitestar different?" is the crucial question. And of course, that means different for non-EV nerds to understand.

Edited to add: More performance hybrids: Is the Nissan 200SX coming back as a hybrid before turning electric? - AutoblogGreen

Nissan's EV/REEV options: Nissan hedges all-electric bet with range extender option - AutoblogGreen

The marketplace is going to get more crowded/confusing.
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Sep 1, 2006
I keep going back to the same premise...stick to what they know; EVs. I do not think TM can afford to wait for the development of an E-REV. How difficult can the Whitestar be after the Roadster? The battery pack is done; the drivetrain 1.5 is done... Slap that puppy together and get moving already with a BEV!


Active Member
Dec 2, 2007
Aptos, California
Tesla originally planned to IPO in the Autumn of 2008, but the economy was too poor. I don't see the economy being much better this year.

The main reason they wanted to IPO was to fund Model S. With investment from Daimler as well as possible loans from the govt, they may decide they do not need to IPO until after the markets more fully recover.


Administrator / Head Moderator
Nov 28, 2006
SF Bay Area
Steve Westly Predicts the Next Cleantech IPOs: Tesla, Silver Spring, Solyndra

“I’ll go out on a limb -– Tesla, Silver Spring Networks, and possibly Solyndra will go public by the first quarter of next year,” [Westly] said in an interview. “I say this because all three of these companies in 2008 did between $10 million and $15 million in revenue, and in 2009 they will do over $150 million. When a company has 10x growth, that is a company you can take public.”

Tesla IPO?

Tesla didn’t respond to requests for comment on its IPO plans. But the company told us back in early 2008 that 2009 would be the year for its IPO (that was before the stock markets took a nose dive, and the appetite for IPOs dried up). Tesla CEO and Chairman Elon Musk reportedly said last year that he planned to raise $100 million from an IPO, but would first raise another round of financing and also wanted the company to be profitable. If those were the two criteria, at least one has been achieved: Tesla announced early last week that German automaker Daimler had taken a roughly 10 percent stake in the San Carlos, Calif.-based startup.

The electric automaker has also applied for a $350 million loan from the Department of Energy to build a factory for its new sedan, the Model S, which it hopes to be producing by late 2011. In the meantime, Tesla is selling its Roadsters for revenue. It also has a powertrain supply unit that Musk has described as cash-flow positive, although Daimler is the only powertrain customer announced so far. The company does not expect to be profitable this year, spokeswoman Rachel Konrad told us in February.

But investors will be interested in Tesla’s revenue today, not what is potentially coming down the pike, said Francis Gaskins, president of IPOdesktop.com, an IPO research firm based in Los Angeles. “In this environment, people don’t look out nine months and say you have revenue coming. They want to see it now,” Gaskins said.

Arnold Panz

Model Sig 304, VIN 542
Apr 13, 2009
Miami, Florida
Why do an IPO now? They got 2 loans from the Feds (for the batteries, and for the Model S), and the investment from Daimler, which sort of had the same affect as if they had sold a small number of shares public, except it all went to one investor (Daimler) who can offer Tesla some industry expertise. The primary reason to go public is to get more capital so you can grow faster. Capital shouldn't be much of an issue for a couple of years, at least, and there's lots of lost autonomy, even with an IPO of a minority number of shares. The best reason I could think of would be to allow some people to cash out (including Elon) who've had their money tied up for a long time in Tesla. That's not a good reason from a business perspective to go public, although Tesla would be far from the first company to do an IPO for that reason.

Oh, and there's a whole industry (investment bankers, lawyers etc.) who do these for a living and have had nothing to do for over a year, and are probably searching out their best prospects. Again, not a great reason for Tesla to do an IPO, even if it's good for business at Wilson Sonsini.


Aug 20, 2006
That's what I was thinking too. SV VCs generally would like to see a nice return in 5 years, not 10+

Someone needs cash to fund a supersonic electric airplane project.

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