The global private investment firm Invus, LP, has invested $26 million in Zero Motorcycles, one of the top manufacturers in the electric motorcycle industry. Zero said the money will help with US-based production, and also expand the company’s global sales footprint.
Zero Motorcycles says $17 million was invested from Invus, LP, on March 3, and the "potential" for additional $9 million will arrive over the coming months as the company grows. Invus, LP, has been Zero Motorcycles’ principal investor since April, 2008.
Gene Banman (CEO Zero Motorcycles) says: "With this investment, we will continue to ramp up our US-based production while rapidly expanding our global sales footprint.
"Our new 2011 lineup of California-designed and assembled electric motorcycles has been very well received by the market and press, and we intend to further accelerate growth and enhance our leadership position.
"We are continuing to commit significant R&D resources to our electric drivetrain technology, and are building the leading supply chain in the industry through our own efforts and our partnering with world-class suppliers. The company has the strong financial footing it needs to expand the business and move the state of electric motorcycle development rapidly forward."
Aflalo Guimaraes (Managing Director of the Invus Group) says: "Zero Motorcycles is well positioned to lead the motorcycle industry in new directions where electric propulsion offers unique advantages over traditional gas-powered motorcycles.
"As Zero’s electric powertrain technology continues to advance, we see the potential for Zero to make ever-increasing inroads in the motorcycle market. We are enthusiastic in our support of the company."
The investment news comes shortly after Zero’s founder, Neal Saiki, left the company last week. Saiki did this move to follow his other passion, flying; Saiki will be re-entering the Igor I. Sikorski Human Powered Helicopter Competition, which Neal first pursued at Cal Poly, San Louis Obispo as an aeronautical engineering student in 1989.
Neal and his wife, Lisa, founded Zero Motorcycles Inc. (then called Electricross) in their garage in Scotts Valley, Calif., in January of 2006. Now, five years later, the company has built a strong management team, an employee base of over 60 people and has just announced the industry’s broadest line of electric motorcycles for 2011.
About The Invus Group:
Invus is a global private investment firm managing approximately $4 billion of capital in an evergreen structure. Its principals work out of offices in New York, Boston, London, Paris, and Hong Kong. Over its 26-year history, Invus has partnered with management teams in a wide range of industries, including consumer packaged goods, consumer services, specialty retailing, software, telecommunications, clean technologies, medical devices, and biotechnology, producing rates of return at the very top of the private equity industry.