Electric bus maker Proterra has raised $140 million in a Series 5 round. Proterra partnered with J.P. Morgan to close the equity funding, which was led by $40 million from an undisclosed investor, an additional $60 million from several new investors, and joined by existing board level investors Tao Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins, GM Ventures, Constellation Technology Ventures, 88 Green Ventures, Edison Energy, Inc. and others.
This growth equity financing signals an accelerated manufacturing phase for Proterra, as the company doubles production to meet growing customer demand across the United States.
The investment and increased valuation reflect the recent accomplishments of the Proterra team and its goal to set the gold standard for industry firsts in innovation. In September 2016, its engineering team unveiled what is now the world’s most efficient battery system for heavy-duty transportation, offering a 350-mile nominal range in the new Catalyst E2 Series, capable of executing any typical U.S. mass transit route on a single charge. In addition, the company’s 2016 sales awards more than doubled from 2015.
With $140 million of new capital, Proterra will dramatically accelerate production capacity on both coasts, while continuing to develop its next generation of heavy-duty electric vehicle products. Proterra aims to increase production in its East Coast facility, located in Greenville, South Carolina, by 300 percent and initiate production in its City of Industry facility in Los Angeles County. Combined, the facilities will more efficiently serve customers around the U.S. Proterra will hire key personnel in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and Greenville to support production growth, as well as implement new manufacturing equipment and systems.
“2016 was an exceptional year for Proterra, and the future growth of this company looks just as promising as it hits a tipping point with transit agencies who are embracing the pivot from diesel- and CNG-powered buses to zero emission mass transit,” said Rob Johnson, chairman of the Proterra board of directors and a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “Proterra’s new Catalyst E2 Series represents the first direct replacement for fossil-fueled buses. It is more cost-effective, offers positive public health and environmental benefits and simply outperforms diesel.”
“The size of the round and the diversity of our investors reflects what we’re seeing around the world as institutions and businesses divest from fossil fuels,” said Ryan Popple, Proterra CEO. “We thank our existing investors for their support and welcome our new investors as we continue to deliver on the promise of a cleaner future for all communities.”