It’s been a shit week for Faraday Future. The autonomous vehicle start up learned its main financier, LeEco, planned to significantly scale back its U.S. operations, signaling a potential death knell for Faraday’s car ambitions. And now Bloomberg is reporting that Faraday is looking to raise a cool $1 billion to keep the dream alive. Woof.
Faraday’s global chief financial officer, Stefan Krause, attempted to reassure its 1,100 employees this week that LeEco’s problems won’t imperil the start-up’s endeavor. Krause said FF’s goal remains to get its flagship vehicle into production next year.
But Bloomberg, citing an unnamed person with direct knowledge of Faraday’s situation, reports that the start-up is already meeting potential investors and advisers, after LeEco announced this week that it’s laying off about 325 people. That would suggest there’s more cause for concern than Krause lets on.
Faraday’s already spent $160 million on the site of what’s supposed to be a $1 billion factory in Nevada for its flagship theoretical-Tesla-killer vehicle, the warplane named FF 91. But because little has gone Faraday’s way, that $1 billion factory’s now set to be a mini-plant that, hopefully, could be expanded over time.
Beyond that, there’s the crush of litigation: Missed payments for suppliers, a strange quibble over how it landed its website name, a complaint by another Faraday—that is, Faraday Bicycles—over alleged trademark infringement.
A stream of executives left the company before its haphazard appearance at this year’s CES conference, and amid the recent trouble at LeEco, another drove of employees have reportedly fled.
Bloomberg says LeEco’s CEO Jia Yueting has personally invested $300 million into Faraday, but now, he’s cutting off the spigot. So, that’s not a good sign.
And so, a fresh cash hunt has commenced. Bloomberg’s source told the news outlet that the Faraday’s targeting “large scale investors” like sovereign wealth funds, with the goal of completing its funding round by this summer. If the trip is unsuccessful, it’s safe to say the situation’s only going to further deteriorate.