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Investors reward battery startup SES for losing money (but not too much) – TechCrunch



It seems battery startup SES’ traders are fairly pleased with its first earnings report. The corporate went public in February by way of a SPAC merger, and to nobody’s shock, reported a loss.

And its traders don’t appear to thoughts. Its shares, whereas nonetheless buying and selling under its SPAC merger value, had been up 16.7% at $6.15 on the time of writing, outpacing broader markets beneficial properties earlier within the day. 

The corporate posted an working lack of $19.2 million within the first quarter quarter. Basic and administrative prices accounted for a lot of that, at $15.1 million, whereas R&D ate up one other $4.1 million. It reported a internet lack of $27 million, or $0.12 per share.

On the finish of the quarter, SES had $426 million in money and expects to have sufficient runway to enter industrial manufacturing in 2025.

Battery startups like SES all lose cash, and it appears like the corporate is shedding simply sufficient to remain within the race, however not a lot that it might burn by way of its reserves earlier than it has a industrial product. Creating and commercializing a brand new battery is an extended, costly sport and traders appear to be pleased with SES’ balancing act. If it spent an excessive amount of, it might danger chapter, after all. And if it didn’t spend sufficient, it might danger falling behind its rivals.

Buyers additionally look like rewarding different battery startups which have gone public by way of SPAC within the final yr, together with Stable Energy, which is up 10%, and QuantumScape, which is up 13%.

The stability of normal bills versus R&D means that whereas work continues on its lithium-metal expertise, an rising quantity of the corporate’s money hoard is being spent on constructing bigger scale services within the ramp as much as industrial manufacturing.

Certainly, in an interview earlier this week, CEO Qichao Hu informed TechCrunch the corporate is continuous to develop its Shanghai Giga web site and one other facility in Korea, which was introduced earlier this yr. At the moment, the Shanghai web site has an annual manufacturing capability of 0.2 GWh, which Hu mentioned is “greater than sufficient” for what they’re making proper now.

“In March, we began constructing cells for Hyundai and Honda out of our Shanghai facility, and for GM out of Korea facility,” he mentioned.

The corporate is testing these cells in-house after which sharing the info with companions. By first quarter subsequent yr, Hu expects to  start delivery cells on to automotive firms to allow them to do their very own testing.

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