Through private marketplace SharesPost, 2,500 shares of Tesla were sold at $10 a share, giving the electric car startup a $1 billion valuation. That’s rather impressive considering that when Daimler bought 10% of Tesla in May, the valuation was rumoured to be at $550 million.
It is the first transaction done with SharesPost which just launched yesterday, and offers an option for trading private companies.
Justifying the $1 billion valuation is not a slam dunk case. Sharespost assembled a report to explain how that figure came about. Josie Garthwaite at Earth2Tech, who originally reported the news, got a copy.
In the report, which was done by Next Up Research, we see some tenuous predictions*. Tesla is expected to start making the Model S by 2011, which is a pretty long shot. It’s also supposed to earn revenue from something called the Blue Star in 2013. Blue Star is just an idea for a third model for Tesla, it’s might be little more than a drawing on paper at this point.
The report does warn of the problems that Tesla will face:
- Safety issues from battery problems
- Lack of cost or performance advantage over a gasoline sports car
- New competitors coming online, notably China based BYD,
- Tesla’s history of product delays.
Plus, as Garthwaite points out, while Tesla is a high end luxury auto maker, it’s not earning healthy margins on each Roadster like Porsche earns on its cars.
*The original report released had a typo in it stating Tesla would do $1.5 billion in revenue on sales of less than 2,000 Roadsters in 2009. The company has corrected the typo, and we’ve added the slide in here.
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