Canoo spent double its annual revenue on the CEO’s private jet in 2023

Tucked inside Canoo’s 2023 earnings report is a nugget regarding the use of CEO Tony Aquila’s private jet — just one of many expenses that illustrates the gap between spending and revenue at the EV startup.

Canoo posted Monday its fourth-quarter and full-year earnings for 2023 in a regulatory filing that shows a company burning through cash as it tries to scale up volume production of its commercial electric vehicles and avoid the same fate as other EV startups, like recently bankrupt Arrival. The regulatory filing once again contained a “going concern” warning — which has persisted since 2022 — as well as some progress on the expenses and revenue fronts.

The company generated $886,000 in revenue in 2023 compared to zero dollars in 2022, as the company delivered 22 vehicles to entities like NASA and the state of Oklahoma. And it did reduce its loss from operations by nearly half, from $506 million in 2022 to $267 million in 2023. The revenue-to-losses gap is still considerable though: The company reported total net losses of $302.6 million in 2023. 

Still, one only needs to look at what Canoo is paying to rent the CEO’s private jet to put those “wins” into perspective. Under a deal reached in November 2020, Canoo reimburses Aquila Family Ventures, an entity owned by the CEO, for use of an aircraft. In 2023, Canoo spent $1.7 million on this reimbursement — that’s double the amount of revenue it generated. Canoo paid Aquila Family Ventures $1.3 million in 2022 and $1.8 million in 2021 for use of the aircraft.

Separately, Canoo also paid Aquila Family Ventures $1.7 million in 2023, $1.1 million in 2022 and $500,000 in 2021 for shared services support in its Justin, Texas, corporate office facility, according to regulatory filings.

This could be chalked up to small monetary potatoes if Canoo reaches its revenue forecast for 2024 of $50 million to $100 million.

We’ve asked Canoo for comment and will update this post if we hear back.

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