Sono Group N.V. (parent company of Sono Motors GmbH) recently celebrated its successful listing on the Nasdaq Global Market. This is another milestone in being able to offer the solar electric vehicle (SEV) Sion at an affordable price. This is preceded by months of development. The company was also on the verge of bankruptcy. A few facts and interviews with Sono CFO Torsten Kiedel..
As a pioneer and technology leader in the field of solar-powered electric mobility, Sono Motors is pursuing the mission of equipping every vehicle with solar cells. The company begins selling and licensing the proprietary solar technology for integration into various types of vehicles, including buses, trucks, RVs, trains and even boats. In doing so, the company is advancing its efforts to reduce CO₂ emissions and provide clean and affordable means of transport for the masses. The Sion solar electric vehicle (SEV) aims to offer future-oriented solar technology at an affordable price. This should enable individual contributions to global sustainability.
In the last few weeks, Sono has solved the big issues that were needed to be successful on the trading floor. The Sion has been technically updated: With the new 54 kWh battery, the increased charging capacity and the full-surface solar integration, the product is now “absolutely competitive”. In addition, the overall planning was updated and continuously coordinated with all stakeholders. And the price has also been adjusted to better reflect the achievement of the breakeven point. With the IPO, the necessary funds have now been raised to initiate the final development phase of the Sion. According to its own statements, the Sion project is currently in a better position than ever before. Even as a start-up, Sono is moving forward with this step into the next phase of corporate development. There are many new and major tasks and risks to be mastered here.
New structures needed: market leader as a blueprint
Building several prototypes in one factory is one thing – now series production in Trollhattan has to be prepared. In addition, 16 pre-production vehicles must prove until summer 2022 in hedging and development that was prepared cleanly. In addition, the company has to set up new structures and cope with rapid growth. A large number of new employees are needed to get the vehicle on the road and hand it over to the customer. A difficult undertaking, because many automotive startups in recent years have failed at precisely these steps. However, it can be done, as some like Tesla, BYD and Weltmeister have made it. They provide the blueprint for how these steps can be taken successfully. Sebastian BOttger, Community Supervisory Board member, asked Torsten Kiedel, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Sono Motors, important questions about the IPO. We summarized the conversation.
The first question that arises: “Why did Sono go public? “In the core, this has a very central reason: we collected a gross revenue of 172.5 million euros with the IPO to accelerate the next phase of our growth. Sono’s IPO is an important milestone in getting the Sion on the road and thus paving the way for climate-friendly mobility,” says Kiedel. But, why didn’t you decide on European stock exchanges?? The reason for the USA and for NASDAQ is greater flexibility: “American investors are somewhat more open to companies that are still in the so-called early stage, i.e. “pre-revenue”. At least in the Sion area, we are not yet generating any sales and there is simply more willingness to take risks among US investors, i.e. more openness to buy Sono shares or to invest in us,” Kiedel reports. The CFO rules out a possible takeover by other companies in the future, because the founders will continue to hold the majority of the voting rights.
“Many members of the community have been there for a long time. The IPO changes a lot. There are also people attentive to Sono, who think less sustainability and more successful share prices. Thus to be dealt with, could be difficult for many in the community, “asks BOttger. Since people with the stock prices would now also want to earn money, the daily business could change, he puts in the room. Kiedel resigns, however, that one is primarily on the stock exchange to bring the Sion to the street. Rising or falling stock prices have no direct impact on the operating day business of development teams. “We still have a long way before us (…). We stay here in Munich and continue to work on to advance the SION to the street and Sono Motors. We have been doing that for over five years and we will continue to do that, “explains the Sono Finanz boss. The press release as well as the complete interview can be found here.
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