Canoo spent more on CEO’s private jet than it actually earned

Californian EV startup Canoo posted its full-year earnings for 2023. And the company apparently spent double its annual revenue on CEO Tony Aquila's private jet.

Image: Canoo

In 2023 alone, Canoo had to fork over 1.7 million dollars for the aircraft. The revenue generated last year amounts to 886,000 – which is a lot more than the zero dollars Canoo earned in 2022, but not enough to cover the CEO’s use of his aircraft. Let alone any other investments on top of that.

The private jet is owned by Aquila Family Ventures, an entity owned by Canoo’s CEO. And the 1.7 million dollars just cover “aircraft reimbursements.” Aquila Family Ventures apparently also received $1.7 million in 2023 for shared services support in its corporate office facilities in Justin, Texas. In both cases, similar amounts were spent in 2021 and 2022.

Canoo recently made rather positive headlines, having taken over production equipment from the insolvent British electric vehicle developer Arrival, signing a (if small) deal with the US postal service and receiving an order for some 550 shuttles from an LA-based shuttle provider. But the recent fillings has Wall Street worried.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) noted that Canoo looks to stay in business. However, “the Company has suffered recurring losses from operations, has a working capital deficit, has generated recurring negative cash flows from operating activities, and expects to continue to incur net losses, a working capital deficit and negative cash flows from operating activities in accordance with its ongoing activities. These matters raise substantial doubt about the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern.”

This is not the first time the SEC has been wary of Canoo’s financial dealings. In August 2023, the SEC fined the company 1.5 million dollars for allegedly misleading investors in connection with its IPO. There are also personal consequences for the then CEO Ulrich Kranz, who will not be allowed to work as an officer or director of a listed company for three years.,,


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