Mitsui, Edison Energy, BMW, Daimler, General Motors and Exelon-backed electric bus manufacturer Proterra achieved a $1.6bn enterprise value in the deal.

Proterra, the US-based electric bus producer backed by corporates BMW, Daimler, General Motors, Mitsui, Edison Energy and Exelon, agreed a reverse merger with special purpose acquisition company ArcLight Clean Transition Corp yesterday.

The transaction gives Proterra a $1.6bn enterprise valuation and will be boosted by $415m in private investment in public equity (PIPE) financing anchored by Daimler Trucks, a subsidiary of automotive manufacturer Daimler.

Investment and financial services group Fidelity also participated in the PIPE, along with Franklin Templeton, private investor Chamath Palihapitiya and funds and accounts managed by BlackRock.

Proterra manufactures plug-in electric buses for use in public transit and also provides battery and electrification technology to commercial vehicle producers in addition to charging and energy management systems.

The merged company will take the place ArcLight Clean Transition received when it floated on the Nasdaq Capital Market in an initial public offering that closed at $275m in September 2020.

Founded in 2010, Proterra received $20m from MK Energy and Infrastructure the same year before adding $30m in a 2011 round featuring carmaker General Motors’ GM Ventures unit, conglomerate Mitsui, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Vision Ridge Partners and 88 Green Ventures.

Proterra added $24m in a 2013 series C round featuring GM Ventures, Mitsui, energy utilities Edison and Exelon (through its Constellation Technology Ventures unit), financial services provider Hitachi Capital’s Hennessey Capital, KPCB, Vision Ridge Partners and 88 Green Ventures.

Constellation Technology Ventures, Hennessey Capital, Vision Ridge Partners and Tao Invest provided $30m for the company in 2014 before it secured another $30m in equity funding and $25m in debt financing from undisclosed investors the following year.

GM Ventures, Edison and Constellation Technology Ventures joined Tao Capital Partners, KPCB, 88 Green Ventures, Middle East Venture Partners and Obvious Ventures to invest $140m in Proterra in 2017.

Proterra raised $55m from BMW subsidiary BMW i Ventures vehicle and Generation Investment Management later the same year before Daimler and Tao Capital Partners co-led a $155m round in 2018 that included G2VP and unnamed other investors.

Conductive Ventures, the investment firm sponsored by electronics producer Panasonic, named Proterra as a portfolio company in September 2020, and it secured $200m from Cowen Sustainable Advisors, Soros Fund Management, Generation Investment Management and Broadscale Group in October.

Jack Allen, Proterra’s chairman and chief executive, said: “Our success is in no small part thanks to a dedicated team of employees that are committed to innovation and forward-thinking solutions.

“This transaction enables Proterra to take the next step towards our mission of advancing [electric vehicle] technology to deliver the world’s best performing commercial vehicles. In addition, it introduces a partner in ArcLight that has a shared focus on sustainability and renewable energy.”