Tesla's capital raise unlocks a new chapter in the TSLA growth story

(Credit: Wuwa Vision/YouTube)

Tesla’s (NASDAQ:TSLA) recently-announced $2 billion capital raise may be surprising to some considering CEO Elon Musk’s statements during the company’s Q4 2019 earnings call, but the additional funding does point to one notion. Following this funding round, Tesla will have more cash than ever before, and this makes the company primed to go full speed into its upcoming high-profile initiatives. 

It has been less than a year since Tesla last raised capital. Yet a lot of things have happened and a lot of things have changed since the company’s funding round in May 2019. While it could be argued that Tesla opted to raise money last year at a time when the company was at a low point, the electric car maker seems intent on increasing its cushion from a position of strength this time around. 

Arguments about Elon Musk’s apparent opposition to a funding round aside, there are several compelling arguments for Tesla’s $2 billion capital raise. With this latest funding round, Tesla’s cash position would be at its highest in the company’s history at around $8 billion. That provides a lot of runway, and it’s probably enough to kickstart several high-profile projects. 

Tesla Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai General Assembly (Source: Tesla)

Tesla’s press release about its new funding round was very understated, with the company merely stating that the additional capital will be used to “strengthen” its balance sheet. Tesla also noted that the funds would be used for “general corporate purposes.” These statements provide a pretty open interpretation of what the additional funding could be used for, though considering the company’s upcoming projects, it’s quite difficult to argue against Tesla’s additional funds at this stage. 

The electric car maker, after all, has several high-profile projects that are ongoing. Giga Shanghai is reportedly on its second phase of construction, with the facility now being prepared for its eventual production of the Model Y crossover. Giga Berlin is set to break ground soon, and construction of Phase 1 is expected to commence soon after. The Model Y is also set to enter production fully, followed by the Semi later this year. The Cybertruck is also set to be produced next year, and perhaps the next-gen Roadster as well. A ramp of the Semi’s Megacharger Network is also yet to begin. 

Credit: Tesla

These are but part of the company’s projects for its electric car business. Tesla also intends to pursue a serious ramp of its energy division, propelled by its flagship Solarglass Roof tiles. The company’s battery storage products, such as the Megapack and Powerwall, are yet to be fully ramped as well. 

Amidst all these initiatives, it is pertinent to note that for the longest time, Tesla was operating pretty much like a stereotypical Silicon Valley startup: cash-strapped at times and spending extremely frugally to survive. Yet with Model 3 demand proving consistent and more high-volume vehicles like the Model Y coming soon, the story seems to have changed for Tesla. This time around, the company is pursuing its trademark ambitious goals more equipped than before. This is quite an encouraging sign. 

After all, a cash-strapped Tesla is what brought the Model S to the market, and that changed the very perception of what a premium sedan could be like. A cash strapped Tesla is also what created the Model 3, a vehicle so disruptive it is thriving at a time when sedans are a dying breed in a number of key markets. One can only imagine what a well-funded, well-equipped Tesla could do, especially when it’s about to release its most mainstream vehicles yet.

Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.

Simon Alvarez: Simon is a reporter with a passion for electric cars and clean energy. Fascinated by the world envisioned by Elon Musk, he hopes to make it to Mars (at least as a tourist) someday.
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