Though the 1,088 horsepower Rimac Concept_One was initially dismissed as vaporware, 5 years after its founding Rimac has secured a 10 million euro ($12.5 million) Series A investment. With a valuation approaching $88 million, the automaker is looking to finally commercialize its electric supercar and motor technology.
“We are delighted that we have established a close collaboration with international investors who appreciate our value and potential. The funding will enable us to launch new products to the market and increase our production capacity,” say the 26-year old founder and CEO Mate Rimac. The company has recently grown from just 20 employees to over 60, after Rimac himself started the company in his garage following his conversion of a BMW M3 into one of the world’s quickest EVs.
He has even more ambitious machinations for the 1,088 horsepower Concept_One, priced at a million dollars and able to go from 0 to 62 MPH in a scant 2.8 seconds while wrapping the driver in over-the-top luxury. That would make it amongst the quickest cars on the planet, though that isn’t all this Croatian wunderkind is working on. Since the 2009 founding of the company, Rimac has also started the Greyp electric bicycle project, announced intentions to supply powertrain parts for electric vehicles, and started a partnership with Formula E to provide fans with test drives.
In his spare time, he also had his engineering team improve a fan’s wheelchair with some of his patented electric motor and battery management technology. The dude is alright is my book for that reason alone, though watching an electric supercar lay waste to a gas-guzzling Ferrari is pretty entertaining.
Mate Rimac is like a younger, Eastern European version of Elon Musk, if the Silicon Valley entrepreneur had gone straight into electric vehicles instead of messing around with PayPal and SpaceX first. Just 88 examples of the Concept_One will go into production beginning next year, and you’ll have to pony up about $1 million to get one. While it’s still far too early to tell, I have a better feeling about Rimac than I do many plug-in vehicle start-ups.
Could Rimac Automobili be Europe’s answer to Tesla Motors?