Bill Gates And Volkswagen-Backed EV Battery Maker QuantumScape Going Public Via SPAC

QuantumScape, a solid-state battery maker backed by Bill Gates and Volkswagen AG VWAGY, is going public via SPAC Kensington Capital Acquisition KCAC.

About QuantumScape: QuantumScape is a 10-year-old battery maker, spun out from Stanford University. The lithium batteries are said to be safer and also can charge quicker.

“Our ambition is to be a supplier to the industry as a whole,” QuantumScape Founder/CEO Jagdeep Singh said.

Volkswagen has invested $300 million in QuantumScape and has a joint venture with the company that began in 2018.

“A solid-state battery would increase the range of the E-Golf to approximately 750km compared with the present 300km,” Volkswagen said. Volkswagen could get the QuantumScape batteries as soon as 2025.

Bill Gates is an investor in QuantumScape through both personal funds and his Breakthrough Energy Ventures. Gates has mentioned QuantumScape in a note hoping for carbon-neutral personal transportation. The solid-state batteries could double the current range of electric cars.

Breakthrough Energy investors also include Amazon’s AMZN Jeff Bezos, Alibaba Group’s BABA Jack Ma, Richard Branson, and Michael Bloomberg.

QuantumScape was founded by Jagdeep Singh, who was also the co-founder of Infinera Corp INFN, Lightera Networks, which was acquired by Ciena Corp CIEN, and OnFiber, acquired by Qwest Communications.

About Kensington Capital: Kensington Capital is led by Justin Mirro, who will join the QuantumScape board of directors. Mirro was a former engineer at both General Motors GM and Toyota Motors TM. Other Kensington directors also come from Chrysler, Delphi, and Lear.

The acquisition by Kensington comes with a $3.3 billion enterprise value. The deal is expected to close in late 2020 when shares will trade on the NYSE with the symbol QS.

Electric Vehicle SPAC Market: The SPAC craze continues with top names using this blank check route to acquire private companies.

Electric vehicles have been a hot market for SPACs with many going public this route in 2020. This list includes Luminar, a lidar maker acquired by Gores Metropoulos GMHI, hydrogen truck maker Nikola NKLA, electric truck maker Lordstown Motors acquired by DiamondPeak Holdings DPHC, electric car startup Fisker acquired by Spartan Energy Acquisition Corp SPAQ, and electric powertrain for Class 8 maker Hyliion going public with Tortoise Acquisition Corp SHLL.

Price Action: Shares of Kensington Capital were up more than 50% Thursday morning at $15.07.

Posted In: NewsIPOsTop StoriesTechBill GatesBreakthrough Energy Ventureselectric vehiclesEV batteriesJack MaJagdeep SinghJeff BezosMichael BloombergQuantumScapeRichard Branson