LONDON -- After winning investments from Porsche and Hyundai, the Crotian EV startup Rimac Automobili now hopes to attract financial investors to expand.
Rimac's founder, Mate Rimac, has taken his company from its start in a garage near Zagreb in his native Croatia, to a 400-employee business. He was named a 2018 Automotive News Europe Eurostar.
Hyundai paid 80 million euros for an undisclosed stake in Rimac in May. Hyundai said two models will result from the investment: a sports car for Hyundai's N performance subbrand and a fuel cell car, likely for Kia.
Hyundai's investment represented 14 percent of his company, Rimac told Automotive News Europe. This would give Rimac Automobili an overall value of 570 million euros ($627 million).
Porsche raised its stake in Rimac to 15.5 percent in September after buying a 10 percent stake in 2018. Porsche said it wanted to intensify collaboration in the field of battery technology. The size of Porsche's investment was not disclosed.
China's Camel Group, which describes itself as Asia's largest battery maker, is Rimac's second biggest stakeholder with 19 percent, while Mate Rimac owns 43 percent.
Rimac said he was open to selling more of his own stake but would focus on attracting financial investors rather than car companies. Rimac Automobili is solvent but needs money for a new factory to build automotive components, he said.
Rimac will reveal its first full production electric hypercar, the C Two, at the Geneva auto show in March and will deliver the first of a planned run of 150 cars at the end of 2020.
Rimac supplies the hybrid battery pack for the forthcoming Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar and will build the Pininfarina Battista electric hypercar for the automotive arm of the Italian design house.
Other clients include Renault and Seat. "We work with pretty much everybody," Rimac said.
Rimac is one of Croatia's few automotive or tech companies. "We are such a strange story for Croatia. There's nothing close to us. I have raised more money than all Croatian tech companies in history. Several times more," Rimac said.
Rimac also said the company will open an r&d office in the UK. "I believe the UK is the best place in the world for automotive talent," he said.
Rimac was speaking to Automotive News Europe at an event in London on Nov. 21 to announce a tie-up with UK dealer group HR Owen to sell the C Two.
As well as Aston Martin, Rimac has also worked with UK autonomous race car company Roborace.
Rimac's Porsche connection would also give him access to UK ultraluxury brand Bentley, which is working on its first electric car to be launched by 2025. Bentley and Porsche are both part of Volkswagen Group and share technology.