Motorcycle Maker Raises $27 Million to Boost Electric Bikes

  • Combined Series B, Series C rounds led by Grassy Creek
  • Competition heating up among electric motorcycle manufacturers

Alta Motors' Redshift ST electric motorcycle

Photographer: Jason Hansen/Alta Motors

Alta Motors, a closely held motorcycle maker based in California, has closed $27 million of preferred stock as part of a round of financing that’ll allow it to boost production of electric motorcycles.

The combined Series B and Series C round was led by Grassy Creek Ventures and included Mountain Nazca and Bob Fox, founder of FOX Racing Shox Inc., Alta Motors said in a statement Tuesday. The company had previously raised $16.2 million.

The financing comes as competition heats up among motorbike makers, with Polaris Industries Inc., Energica Motor Co. and Lightning Motors Corp. all offering electric-powered motorcycles. Such bikes make up just a fraction of the more than $125 billion global market for lightweight vehicles now, but demand for them is poised to rise as part of a transition away from vehicles that combust fossil fuels to combat pollution, Alta Motors Chief Executive Officer Marc Fenigstein said.

“As traditional automotive loses its transportation crown, this is a pivotal moment for us and for the industry; we are breaking barriers in storage, powertrain and vehicle design,” Fenigstein said in the statement.

The company will use the new funds to increase distribution and production of its all-electric Redshift motorbike line to a level “where it is self-sustaining," Fenigstein said in an interview. The company has developed a battery pack that, it said, can store more energy per kilogram than anyone else in the lightweight, electric-vehicle market.

Alta Motors also named new board members including Travis Bradford, a professor at Columbia University and president of the Prometheus Institute for Sustainable Development, and Hector Sepulveda, managing partner at Mountain Nazca.

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