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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Aptera Acquires Andromeda

In what amounts to part acquisition, part homecoming, Aptera Motors announced April 20 it had purchased Andromeda Interfaces, Inc. in an all-equity deal. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Andromeda and Aptera have a shared history. In 2007, Andromeda CEO Brian Gallagher was hired as Aptera’s third employee. He worked for the company for five years until the original Aptera shut down in 2012. The company, under its current leadership, relaunched in 2019.  

After the shutdown, Gallagher went on to co-found Andromeda with partner Kevin Coelho, developing interfaces for EV OEMs for not only cars, but also for transit, construction, off-road utility, e-motorcycles and golf carts.


“We are thrilled to join forces again with Aptera to deliver an ultra-efficient solar-powered vehicle. The human-machine interface technology we developed in the past with Aptera was forward-thinking, and we were able to commercialize it and create and grow a sustainable business,” Gallagher said. “At Andromeda, we felt we were keeping a pulse for Aptera with our products, so to team up again after so many years seems like it was to happen this way.”

Aptera has been working with Andromeda for the last three years to ensure the solar-powered EV’s display and infotainment package will provide “the best user experience,” said Aptera CFO Jannies Sun Burlingame.


“We are applying our deep understanding of electric vehicle systems combined with vehicle efficiency and creating unique features in the display to maximize range for the drivers,” Gallagher added. “Energy Tipster is a feature that encompasses the core of Aptera’s efficiency and enables drivers to make real-time adjustments to their driving experience to retain more energy.”


Besides gaining interface expertise for its own vehicles, Aptera will also gain from Andromeda’s businesses it developed in the years before Gallagher rejoined the team.


“As part of this friendly M&A;, we are here to support [Andromeda] with their existing relationships but in turn it brings in more revenue stream for us so it’s a win-win,” Burlingame said. “Any technology that’s being developed is going to help us too, so it works out really well.”


Preparing for Public Offering


The Andromeda acquisition is part of a broader strategy at Aptera “to run on more efficient operations,” Burlingame said. “Integrating them vertically builds more efficiency.”


Building partnerships and adding efficiency to the supply chain is the current step towards an eventual IPO of Aptera stock. Burlingame, who has helped guide a number of companies to public markets, joined Aptera last June to get it “ship shape” for an eventual public offering “regardless of when [it] happens,” she said.

Aptera also is working toward “more formalized controls” and “better corporate governance” to position itself for a successful IPO “should we decide on that date,” Burlingame added.

That date is currently impossible to predict because of market volatility driven by the war in Ukraine and the lingering effects of the pandemic, she said.  

“The EV markets have fluctuated. It’s gone down 30% [and now] it’s climbing back a little, so we’re timing the market,” Burlingame said. “The most important part is we want to ready when the time is right.”


To be ready, Aptera will be moving into its Carlsbad production facility “in the next few weeks,” according to Brooke Engerman, Aptera’s PR manager, who said the company remains optimistic about reaching its goal of rolling finished cars off the assembly line by the end of the year.


Aptera currently has over 19,700 pre-orders for its solar-powered EV – and Gallagher is looking forward to seeing them in use soon.

“When I see an Aptera on the road, it always makes me smile. I know it is the future I want to see,” he said.

Aptera Motors

Founded: 2019

Co-CEOs:  Chris Anthony and Steve Fambro

Headquarters: Carlsbad

Business: Solar-powered electric vehicles

Revenue: Undisclosed

Employees: 100 full time


Notable: Aptera has increased its staff by ten times in the last 12 months.


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