BRD Motorcycles Raises $1 Million, Adds Tesla Founder to Advisory, & Announces First Dealership

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If you lookup the word “hustle” in the dictionary, you might see a portrait of the BRD Motorcycles crew. We haven’t heard much from the San Francisco startup in the past year or so, well nothing official at least, but today the BRD crew has a plethora of milestones to announce.

First up is the addition of $1 million in funding, which was lead by the strategic investment firm Third Shore Group (TSG). The added funds will help keep the BRD’s lights on, and help the EV company bring its RedShift electric motorcycle series into production. As a part of the funding agreement, BRD will also receive human resources from TSG, in addition to opening a satellite facility just outside of Detroit, in Royal Oak, Michigan.

“We are tremendously excited to partner with TSG,” said BRD Motorcycles CEO Marc Fenigstein. “Their team brings deep expertise in EV commercialization and a great network in the automotive and motorcycle supply chains that are extremely valuable in expediting production of the RedShift.”

“Additionally, having feet on the ground in Michigan gives us access to an incredibly strong talent and resource pool. For me, this deal combines the best of Silicon Valley and Motor City. ”

The second big announcement from BRD is that Tesla Co-Founder Martin Eberhard has been added to the company’s Advisory Board. Eberhard brings with him the experience of launching Tesla Motors, and will be a valuable asset in guiding BRD through through the process of building an automotive business in tech-oriented Silicon Valley.

“Martin is a legend in the electric vehicle space and, for us, a tremendous source of wisdom, creativity, and technical expertise,” said Fenigstein. “He is demanding, rigorous, and endlessly enthusiastic; we could not be more excited to formalize his role at BRD as we move into production and the marketplace.”

BRD’s third announcement is the signing of its first dealership, BMW Motorcycles of San Francisco. A 2011 winner of the BMW Motorrad USA Dealer of Excellence award, BMW Motorcycles of San Francisco is an interesting choice for BRD, with the city’s two other premier dealerships already having electric OEMs on their showroom floors.

“Unlike Tesla [Motors] we are not building our own dealership network, and have to trust our dealership partners to represent our brand to our customers,” said Fenigstein. “We have to be conservative and careful with our partnership choices. I think BMW Motorcycles of San Francisco is an ideal partner in the Bay Area, one of our most important territories and our home turf. They set a very high bar for our subsequent dealerships and that is only a good thing.”

Asphalt & Rubber was excited when we test rode the RedShift SM prototype, and hear that the production model has only improved upon the stout machine we rode. Hopefully we can see a production model soon — we’ve got this supermoto itch that needs to be scratched.

Photos of Asphalt & Rubber’s Test of the BRD RedShift SM Prototype:
(© 2011 Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved)

Photos of the BRD RedShift SM Prototype:
(© 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0)

Source: BRD Motorcycles