The solid-state battery specialist and Volkswagen partner QuantumScape has now completed its announced IPO. On Friday, QuantumScape’s shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “QS”. The shares rose by around 50 per cent on the very first day of trading.
For the IPO, QuantumScape agreed to a merger with the investment company Kensington Capital Acquisition. A path that several eMobility companies are currently pursuing, including Romeo Power, ChargePoint and Nikola Motor. The Californian solid-state battery manufacturer reported net revenues of $680 million from the merger.
In June, Volkswagen had already announced that it would invest up to a further $200 million in the company. The Wolfsburg-based company hopes that the cooperation will help it to make progress in the development of solid-state batteries and their subsequent large-scale production. The trans-Atlantic partners clearly feel optimistic after the successes achieved so far in the various stages of the project. In order to prepare for the mass production of solid-state batteries for Volkswagen, the duo has now also presented plans to set up a joint venture.
Volkswagen had already invested 100 million dollars in QuantumScape, which is a spin-off from Stanford University, in 2018 and has since become the battery specialist’s largest automotive shareholder. At current exchange rates, the total investment of 300 million dollars corresponds to a value of 265 million euros. The two companies have been working together since 2012. Before the investment in 2018, VW already held five per cent of QuantumScape. Since then, there has been no precise information on how many shares the German company holds – only the now repeated claim to be the largest automotive shareholder. Other early investors in the company, founded in 2010, include Bill Gates and the German automotive supplier Continental. QuantumScape currently employs over 200 scientists and engineers. The team also includes JB Straubel, known as former CTO at Tesla.
QuantumScape expects that the proceeds from the transaction will keep the company afloat until mass production begins. This is scheduled for the second half of 2024. “Today marks a major step in the evolution of our company,” said founder and CEO Jagdeep Singh, commenting on the IPO. The transaction enables the company to finance the development and commercialization of its “OEM-validated battery technology”.
VW considers solid-state technology to be the “most promising approach for the next generation of electric mobility”. This quote is taken from a press release issued by the German company in mid-2020: “With the same size battery, electric cars with such cells should achieve ranges comparable to those of a combustion engine.” A number of investors apparently share this optimism: the first day of trading on Wall Street ended with QS shares trading at 37 dollars, around 50 per cent above the starting value in the morning.
With reporting by Cora Werwitzke
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