Transaction sizes down, volumes up despite COVID-19
Estimated investments in e-mobility related start-ups totalled over $2.6 billion in the first quarter of 2020. Although a significant number, The Global e-Mobility Funding Report for Q1 2020 shows that compared with last year, total disclosed funding was down 18% over the same quarter last year, with the number of announced transactions slowing significantly during the quarter as the COVID-19 crisis impacted deal-making in the sector.
Average disclosed deal size was down in Q1 year over year, driven by a decrease in the average top 3 deal-size (down 21%) and a significant increase of number of identified transactions (up 86%). The increase in transaction volume highlights the strong financing appetite for the sector even as it was entering a global shutdown.
The United States remains the single largest country destination for funding, both in amounts in deals, but is matched by Europe in terms of deal count. China lost momentum compared to Q4 2019 and was in fifth place in terms of countries.
Analysts estimate a total of $2.6 billion in investments
Due to the private nature of the market, details of only 32 of the total 54 transactions were available. According to Paul Jan Jacobs, Founder of EVBoosters™, the overall value of Q1 is much higher than the disclosed $1.56 billion; “We estimate that the overall worth of all capital injections together can be valued at ca. $2.6 billion for the first quarter of 2020”.
As electrification of transport gains traction and sales of EVs are ramping up, we see that Electric Vehicle Manufacturers are still the main recipients of funding, followed by Shared Mobility business models. Notably, the top two deals this quarter were Joby and Lilium, both electric airplane manufacturers. NIO, the Chinese EV player, rounded out the top three this quarter.
Most active investors: Tencent, ABB and Demeter
Large corporates again dominated the investor landscape in Q1 with Toyota investing in UK-based bus and van company Arrival as well as in electric VTOL company Joby. Tencent invested in both Lilium and NIO, and ABB expanded its portfolio in charging services through early stage investments in numocity and In-Charge Energy. French VC Demeter was a notable financial investor with two deals; CityScoot and existing portfolio company NAWA Technologies.
Top raisers: Joby, Lilium and NIO
Who needs electric cars if you can fly? Electric VTOL companies Joby and Lilium stole the top two places this quarter. With a $580 million round led by Toyota, Joby raised the largest round in the broader electric mobility space this quarter. Fellow electric vtol company Lilium followed some way behind with a $240 million round led by Tencent. NIO, the electric Chinese EV manufacturer and no stranger to top-3 classifications, came in third with a $240 million round led by Lenovo.
Most popular industries to invest in are vehicles and shared mobility
Electric vehicles, in the broader sense, so including scooters, bikes, cars and planes, are still the main recipient of funding, both in disclosed amounts ($1.26 billion) as in deal count (17). Shared electric mobility has been steadily increasing its share of deals per quarter, reaching a high of 23% in Q1 2020, coming in second place. We’ve classified electric fleets as a separate category, but when added to shared electric mobility, it would be the largest sector in terms of deal count.
Impact of COVID-19
As a large part of the world moved into lockdown in Q1, we already saw a sequential monthly slowdown in transactions during the quarter, even though overall, volumes were up compared with last year. We would expect that Q2 will show a more pronounced effect of the different lockdowns throughout the world on announced deals.
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