Canoo to go public through reverse merger with $2.4 billion valuation

Canoo to go public through reverse merger with $2.4 billion valuation

Subscription-only automaker joins several EV producers opting for quick public offerings.


Los Angeles, California – Canoo, an electric vehicle (EV) producer that plans to launch van-like shared vehicles starting in 2022, is joining a growing list of startups that plan to sell public shares via a reverse merger. The merger partner, Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. IV, is an investment company that already sells its shares but doesn’t have an ongoing business. So-called blank check companies exist only to find startups to take public.

So far this year, EV startups Lordstown Motors, Nikola, and Fisker have also launched reverse mergers to go public.

Canoo, a company working with Hyundai and Kia on EV strategies, has developed a modular skateboard platform that allows it to maximize usable interior space and support various vehicle applications. Canoo’s skateboard architecture – a self-contained, independently drivable rolling chassis – directly houses all of the most critical components of an EV. Its steer-by-wire platform and composite leaf spring suspension enables the skateboard’s flat structure and maximizes vehicle interior space.

Canoo Co-founder and CEO Ulrich Kranz said, “Our technology allows for rapid and cost-effective vehicle development through the world’s flattest skateboard architecture, and we believe our subscription model will transform the consumer ownership experience.”

Hennessy Chairman and CEO Daniel Hennessy said, “Unlike any other EV company, Canoo has created a go-to-market strategy that captures both B2C and B2B demand with the same skateboard architecture and technology that has already been validated by key partnerships such as with Hyundai.”

Canoo expects to introduce its first model in 2022 that will be targeted at consumers in major urban markets. This lifestyle vehicle – eponymously named the canoo – leverages the company’s low profile skateboard architecture to deliver the highest volume utilization across all classes of competitor vehicles currently on the market and has been purposefully developed for a subscription business model.

In addition, Canoo has designed a commercial delivery B2B vehicle with expected availability in 2023 that directly capitalizes on Canoo’s core skateboard technology. Canoo’s delivery vehicle competes in a size segment that other competitors are currently not addressing and capitalizes on the need for a small, city- built, last-mile delivery solution. This high-efficiency platform maximizes cubic cargo volume and targets the fast growing last-mile delivery market.

Canoo’s consumer go-to-market strategy capitalizes on changing consumer preferences to deliver a month-to-month, commitment-free, subscription-based business model. With a single monthly fee and no upfront payment, Canoo members enjoy the benefits of an all-inclusive experience that, in addition to your own canoo vehicle, includes maintenance, warranty, registration and access to insurance and vehicle charging. This go-to-market model is designed to deliver an affordable and simplified customer experience while also enhancing lifetime vehicle revenue and margin to shareholders.

The business combination values Canoo at an implied $2.4 billion. The combined company will receive approximately $600 million to use for operations and development. The companies expect to complete the merger in the fourth quarter of 2020.