Croatian e-mobility superstar Rimac Automobili, that develops and manufactures e-vehicle technologies and e-sportscars, welcomes new prominent investors. Hyundai Motor Company and Kia Motors Corporation have jointly invested €80M in the venture. The deal is strategic for Hyundai and Kia as they aim to collaborate on the development of high-performance electric vehicles and clean mobility. The three companies will work closely together on an electric version of one of Hyundai’s sports car models.
Rimac will use the fresh capital to build up its battery and car production capacities and leap over to high volume manufacturing. In the same time, for the Croatian startup behind the fastest e-car, this means it’s becoming an increasingly important factor for the future of mobility.
Last year, Porsche acquired 10% of the Balkan venture. “This will charge the company’s position as a Tier-1 electrification components supplier to the industry,” comments Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili.
Korean e-mobility with Balkan roots
Hyundai Motor participates with €64M, and Kia Motors, which is part of the same automaker group, puts another to €16M EUR. The developed products part of this partnership that should be presented by 2020, will be under the Hyundai brand. With all this, the South Korean corporation aims to position itself as a global driver of clean mobility.
“Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in high-performance electric vehicles,” said Euisun Chung, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, in an official statement. “Its startup roots and abundant experience collaborating with automakers combined with technological prowess makes Rimac the ideal partner for us. We look forward to collaborating with Rimac on our road to Clean Mobility.”
Once a garage startup, soon mass producer
Rimac Automobili has a very typical startup story. It all started around 2009 with Mate Rimac when he was 21 years old and had developed an e-car in his garage in Zagreb. Officially, the company was founded two years later and received its first funding of 50K in 2015. Today, Rimac develops and manufactures key electrification systems for many global automotive companies, and at the same time, raises the bar for performance EVs with their own electric hypercars.
Today, the technology powerhouse with headquarters in Zagreb, Croatia, employs more than 500 people and plans to further grow. After raising over 120M of investments, from the two South Korean automakers, German Porsche, and the Chinese battery developer Camel Group, Rimac seems to be exactly at its inflection point.
The next challenge ahead is to grow from a low volume manufacturer of complex high-end electrification components to an established Tier-1 supplier for the industry, the official release states. Rimac seems to plan new facilities, so to be able to start the mass production of battery packs, powertrain systems, and the C_Two (a hypercar model that reaches a top speed of 256 miles per hour and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 1.85 seconds and gets 400 miles to a single charge and was introduced last year – ed.note.) hypercar production starting in 2020.