Tesla Birth Watch 18: NOW How Much Would You Pay?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
tesla birth watch 18 now how much would you pay

It may be hard for followers of this series to believe, but in an interview with VentureWire [sub], Tesla Motors' freshly-minted CEO Ze'ev Drori reveals that he's raised another $40m for the ill-fated electric sports car maker. And that's only the first round. This cash grab comes on top of the $100m Tesla has already burned in their seemingly endless pursuit of a production-ready Roadster. C/Net says the cash conflagration has caught the attention of dot bombers who've been there, done that, left the luxurious offices. "When companies get past the $100 million mark in funding without releasing a product, eyebrows start to go up in Silicon Valley. Something about that number tends to bring out skeptics." Why even C/Net is starting to ask a few questions (not to Tesla itself, but what the hey). "The delay of the Roadster could, possibly, lead to delays with the company's plans to come out with an all-electric sedan. Tesla has been hoping to come out with that in late 2009 or early 2010."

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  • EJ_San_Fran EJ_San_Fran on Jan 15, 2008

    Of course, the real problem of Tesla is that, unlike other Silicon Valley startups, they don't bring anything new to the party. Mr. Tesla himself lived 100 years ago!

  • SunnyvaleCA SunnyvaleCA on Jan 15, 2008

    Part of the fun of a sports car is shifting the gears yourself while the engine makes great sounds. That car misses on both of those items. I think I'd have more fun in a gasoline powered Lotus and can use that $50k I saved to buy 350k miles worth of gasoline.

  • Jthorner Jthorner on Jan 16, 2008

    Trilogy Systems burned through $250M of 1980 cash pursing the wafer scale integration dream. It was founded by then guru Gene Amdahl and had a score of high profile VCs and engineer/managers behind it. A decade or so later saw the great tablet PC craze with Pen Computing going through a huge pile of cash only to fail. Then again who can forget the spectacular Webvan online grocery flop, pets.com and etoys.com? Part of Silicon Valley's skill set is a PR hype machine second only to those of political campaigns. If all electric cars become a mass market item they are almost certainly going to come from one or more of the established automotive companies. Tesla and it's ilk will probably be reduced to making "we moved the conversation in our direction" concession speeches.

  • Lewissalem Lewissalem on Jan 16, 2008

    Buildin' cars is hard! -tm