As of October 2nd, 2020, there were 2.824 billionaires in the world. The number now lies at 2.825. The reason for that change? A Carnegie Mellon engineer graduate.
While growing up, Thomas Healy developed a strong interest in racing cars, bolstered by his fervent admiration for the complex racecar shipping process and for the ballet of huge trucks transporting equipment between racetracks. After joining a college engineering program, Healy directed his attention to electronic vehicles, influenced by Tesla’s constant market pioneering attitude. Eventually, he discovered the need for an alternative truck solution.
In 2015, Healy founded Hyliion Inc., a Texas-based truck electrification startup. Last September, Hyliion merged with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Tortoise Acquisition Corp. Following the footsteps of electric car manufacturer Nikola, Healy decided to go down the alternative SPAC route, in order to receive strong capital injections. This implies going public by merging with a SPAC or blank check company, an entity that has no commercial operations and is formed strictly through an IPO for the purpose of acquiring an existing company. While this method has been around for decades, it has surged in popularity over the last several quarters. In 2020, more than 50 SPACs have been formed in the U.S, as of the beginning of August raising $21.5 billion.
For Thomas Healy and his team, one of the main advantages of using the SPAC method was to diminish the risk of going on a traditional IPO roadshow, which may or may not work out in the end. After meeting with the Tortoise team, Hyliion was introduced to the Marathon Capital Investment Bank which advised on the deal. Since the merger announcement, Hyliion experienced a strong spike in share value, reaching a high at 55.85$ on September 2nd and thus a 546,477% increase in value even despite experiencing down phases in August.
The company’s objective is to equip all trucks with Hyliion powertrains. Nonetheless, Healy stated that “there will be other trucks that are electric as well, taking a different approach” and that he hopes “all these technologies are successful as ultimately we’re trying to make this shift to electric.” This confident and future-oriented statement perfectly matches Hyliion’s brand mentality, which has not taken any change of direction throughout the merger.
Author: Leo Paus