A decade ago, Rimac Automobili was a one-person startup in a garage. Today, the EV and technology company founded by Mate Rimac employs more than 1,000 people, has partnerships with Porsche and Hyundai Motor Group and is on track to launch its 1,914 hp, all-electric C_Two hypercar this year.
If that weren’t enough, Rimac also launched a subsidiary company, Greyp Bikes, to produce electrically assisted bicycles. It’s a notable run for a company that Mate Rimac founded after converting a 1984 BMW into an electric vehicle that at one time was the fastest in the world. What makes it remarkable is he started the company in Croatia and at the time lacked the typical network found in Silicon Valley.
“Ten years ago today, I was still like one guy in a garage and we did this in a location in Croatia where there is not a lot of technology or industry in general,” he said in an interview with TechCrunch earlier this year. “So it was crazy, I didn’t have a single venture capital fund. There were no tech startups. There was no industry in general, not just like automotive, but industry as such. So, there was no talent, there were no buildings we could use. So, we had a very tough upcoming, and was very hard for us to start we were just surviving and, you know from month to month and trying to pay the bills and most of the times we were struggling with that so the first six or seven years of our life most of the time for me was focusing on keeping the company going and how the hell I’m going to pay the next payroll or the next rent and stuff like that.”
Rimac overcame those challenges, gaining Porsche and Hyundai as investors and importantly, generating revenue from the beginning — and even profits.
And Mate Rimac isn’t done.
The founder and CEO recently unveiled a design for new headquarters in Croatia that will include an on-site test track, an R&D and production facility, museum, gym and daycare for employees — and even on-site organic food production and farm animals. The complex, which is expected to be completed by 2023, will allow the company to ramp up from prototype and smaller projects to high-volume production of its high-performance electric drivetrain and battery systems for customers that include Porsche, Hyundai-Kia, SEAT, Renault and Pininfarina.
We’re excited to announce that Mate Rimac will be joining us at TC Sessions: Mobility 2021, a one-day virtual event that is scheduled June 9. We have a lot of ground to cover with Mate Rimac, from how he started a company outside of a traditional incubator or VC network, his upcoming electric hypercar and plans for the company’s future.
In case, you’re not familiar, each year we bring together engineers and founders, investors and CEOs who are working on all the present and future ways people and packages will get from Point A to Point B. The agenda is packed with leaders in electric vehicles — that would be Mate Rimac — autonomous vehicle technology, micromobility and even urban and regional air taxis.
Among the growing list of speakers are Motional President Karl Iagnemma and Aurora co-founder and CEO Chris Urmson, who will team up to talk about technical problems that remain to be solved, the war over talent, the best business models and applications of autonomous vehicles and maybe even hear a few stories from the early days of testing and launching a startup.
Other guests include GM‘s VP of Global Innovation Pam Fletcher, Scale AI CEO Alexandr Wang, Joby Aviation founder and CEO JoeBen Bevirt, investor and LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman (whose special purpose acquisition company just merged with Joby), investors Clara Brenner of Urban Innovation Fund, Quin Garcia of Autotech Ventures and Rachel Holt of Construct Capital, Zoox co-founder and CTO Jesse Levinson, community organizer, transportation consultant and lawyer Tamika L. Butler, Remix co-founder and CEO Tiffany Chu and Revel co-founder and CEO Frank Reig.
We also recently announced a panel dedicated to China’s robotaxi industry. We’re bringing together three female leaders from Chinese autonomous vehicle startups that have an overseas footprint: Jewel Li from AutoX, which is backed by Chinese state-owned automakers Dongfeng Motor and SAIC Motor; Huan Sun from Momenta, which attracted Bosch, Daimler and Toyota in its $500 million round closed in March; and Jennifer Li from WeRide, whose valuation jumped to $3 billion after a financing round in May.
Don’t wait to book your tickets to TC Sessions: Mobility as prices go up at the door. Grab your passes right now and hear from today’s biggest mobility leaders.