e-Go seeks £1.5m as it runs out of cash runway
e-Go aeroplanes, which has designed an iconic light aircraft from its Cambridge UK base, is launching an urgent global appeal for at least £1.5 million before it runs out of cash.
The runway is vanishing fast: If the business fails to find a major new investor or cash-rich buyer by late October or early November directors may have to put the company in the hands of a liquidator.
The board has co-opted international-class marketing and financial expertise on a pro bono basis to strengthen management and help experienced CEO William Burnett and chairman Terry Holloway conjure a rescue package.
There is a feeling in local business circles that the company had been under-funded since Day One and that former management launched the last abortive funding round a year too late: e-Go’s new management has withdrawn a £700k fundraising after receiving pledges of just £150k.
It now has two choices – to find a major investor or a buyer – and fast! Business Weekly understands that all staff apart from key engineering, financial and administrative expertise critical to maintaining and growing the venture, have been put on notice and could be laid off by the end of the month unless a cash lifeline is thrown.
The sentiment for saving the business is huge among the shareholders and board. Holloway has years of experience in the industry with Marshall of Cambridge while Burnett is an experienced pilot and backed his love of the business by becoming its first customer. Serial entrepreneur Hermann Hauser has continued with financial support for the business.
“No-one wants to see e-Go fold. It has produced a design icon – and from Cambridge – which is a wonderful achievement,” one shareholder told me.
“For Cambridge to engineer the first new light aircraft model for donkey’s years is a magnificent achievement and one worth fighting to preserve.”
The maiden e-Go model is a single seater. Part of the rescue blueprint is to start work on two, three and even five-seater planes to broaden its appeal in international markets.
The board is also revisiting key elements such as costs of production for the plane which is retailing at around £50k-£65k depending on spec.
It is understood that the current investment pitch will take in the US and China where potential buyers could be attracted by the low rate of sterling.
e-Go is based at Main Hall Farm in Conington, Cambridge – Tel: +44 (0)1954 268 189. Email: sales [at] e-go.me