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SBD Global/May 14, 2014/Finance

Formula E Raises $68M From Qualcomm, Amura Capital For First Season

Formula E "has completed funding for its first season by securing investor backing" from U.S. tech firm Qualcomm, "paving the way for the first race in the series around Beijing’s Olympic Park in September," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Formula E raised €50M ($68M) from Qualcomm, which is "already a series sponsor, and private equity fund Amura Capital." They join existing investor Causeway Media Partners, which owns the NBA Boston Celtics. Formula E has raised more than €70M ($96M) from rights deals with broadcasters such as Fox Sports in the U.S., Asahi of Japan and ITV in the U.K., and sponsors including Qualcomm, DHL, Michelin and Renault. The promoter "expects to break even" toward the end of the first season. Team budgets are expected to be up to €3.5M ($4.8M). Car manufacturers "will be following the inaugural season closely before deciding whether to participate by developing their own cars." Cars for the inaugural season "have been manufactured by a consortium" including Renault, Spark Racing Technology, Italian chassis maker Dallara and the technology arms of F1 teams McLaren and Williams. All the teams "will test the cars at new facilities built at Donington Park in Leicestershire," which opens on Thursday (FT, 5/13).
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