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Lightyear is continuing its mission by setting up a new company fully focused on model 2, its affordable solar electric vehicle. Most of the team will lose their job nonetheless: after the relaunch, there’s only room for about 100 out of 600 employees. Through support and efforts from investors, especially Arnoud Aalbersberg and his Individual Investors Group, 8 million euros have been raised as a foundation to further work on the concept and secure the additional capital required to start production. Lightyear’s intellectual property will be transferred to the new company as collateral for all stakeholders. Invest-NL, leading the consortium of former IP pledge holders, has agreed to accommodate this.
A couple of weeks ago, Lightyear was effectively declared bankrupt, just two months after gloriously celebrating its first model 0 flagship rolling off the assembly line. Instead, the Helmond-based solar car trailblazer indicated that it wanted to go all-in on model 2. In the past few weeks, the court-appointed trustee frantically deliberated with all involved to make this happen. Haste was required to prevent the cream of the crop from leaving what could soon be perceived as a sinking ship. It now seems that all obstacles have been removed for a downsized relaunch, including some issues related to the IP being controlled by a separate entity.
“I’m relieved that we were able to facilitate this relaunch by raising 8 million euros in one day among investors who embarked on this adventure from the start. This shows our strong belief,” Aalbersberg points out. Invest-NL CEO Rinke Zonneveld is glad that Lightyear can continue its mission. “The past year, we’ve invested significantly in Lightyear, because we believe in the potential of its technology. The challenge remains significant, but the company also has great opportunities.”
According to Lightyear founder Lex Hoefsloot, “All involved worked relentlessly to secure the continuation of our mission. We kept the interests of all stakeholders at heart during this process. We realize that the impact on our employees, investors, clients and suppliers is significant, but we tried to find the best way forward for everyone. In the coming days, we’ll work out all details with all involved parties, including the bankruptcy trustee.”