SEA Electric, the electric vehicle start up  first established in Australia eight years ago has announced it has it has closed initial private placement equity financing which amounts to approximately $AUD54 million (US$42 million), which is says  will allow it to ‘solidify its position as a market leader in the electrification of commercial vehicles whilst funding its considerable backlog and facilitating more pilot programs with operators’.

From humble beginnings in Melbourne and with some grants from the Victorian government as well as links with both Isuzu Australia and Hino, both locally and in the USA, SEA has become a key player in the electrification of trucks.

The company’s statement says  that following substantial growth in new markets the the privately generated funding will enable it to meet the demand for electric trucks on a global scale.

SEA’s president and founder, Tony Fairweather  said, the company is pleased to have completed a heavily oversubscribed equity financing and are excited to welcome aboard a global set of institutional investors as partners.

“The financing allows SEA Electric to accelerate our sales efforts and grow our backlog as we explore options to seek a public listing in the United States this year,” said Fairweather

“2021 will see a paradigm shift in the way developed markets facilitate uptake of commercial electric vehicles and the unstoppable momentum will build year-after-year,”  Fairweather added.

While a major part of the equity placement comes from Canadian clean technology company Exro Technology and another partner, Eight Capital, Fairweather did not rule out floating SEA with an IPO in the USA later this year.

As part of the financing arrangements SEA Electric says it issued approximately 1.1 million Series A Preferred Shares at a price of $AUD52.09 per share ($US40.19) per share, which are to be convertible into common shares of SEA Electric at the option of subscribers and automatically convert to common shares under certain conditions, including SEA Electric completing a public transaction.

 “We are also very excited to welcome Exro Technologies as a strategic partner and shareholder of SEA Electric. We look forward to expanding our partnership with Exro and helping to optimize the utilization of batteries in a second-life application,” Fairweather said,

Exro Technologies, a Canadian clean technology company and is known for its capabilities in improving the power and efficiency of electric motors and the  the collaboration with SEA will focus on utilising electric truck batteries for energy storage applications, according to Fairweather.

It is understood that Exro and SEA Electric will co-develop Exro’s battery control system for operational validation and the companies say it  will take ‘the next step toward leadership in power electronics for mobility and energy management’.

Sue Ozdemir, CEO of Exro Technologies said the company was thrilled to be working with SEA Electric to increase the momentum of commercial electric vehicle uptake.

 “We have a strong relationship with Tony and the SEA Electric team and are very excited to realize the benefits of the BCS co-development project,” Ozdemir added.

SEA now lists its global headquarters as being located  in Los Angeles,  overseeing its operations in five countries including here in Australia where we understand it is still working on projects with Isuzu and Hino.

The company says it is on schedule to deliver more than 1,000 electric commercial vehicles this year and is forecasting to have more than 15,000 vehicles on the road globally by the end of 2023.