Electric car startup Fisker quietly piles on more funding

Electric car maker Fisker Automotive ended 2011 with a couple of hiccups: The company recalled (and promptly fixed) the bulk of the electric Karmas it had shipped to customers, and Fisker also revealed it would have a slower ramp up in production of the Karmas than was previously planned. Now, following some of those hurdles, Fisker has quietly decided to double its current Series D fund-raising round from $150 million to $300 million, according to a filing.

To date, Fisker has closed $243 million of that round, which shows the commitment of Fisker’s investors to the company. Fisker’s investors include private equity firm Advanced Equities, as well as Valley venture firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and NEA. Back in September, Fortune’s (s twx) Dan Primack reported this round (then at $150 million) was being marketed as a “pre-IPO” round (not sure if it still is or not), and Advanced Equities was Fisker’s largest shareholder with 14.61 percent, and Kleiner Perkins held 12.61 percent.

I don’t know the exact financial effects of the recall or the slower production ramp up on Fisker, but the filing for doubling the funding round emerged weeks after the recall and a couple of months after the production issues. To put this in perspective, recalls aren’t that uncommon for car companies. Fisker Senior Director, Global Corporate Communications, Roger Ormisher tells me:

We have always said that as a private company, we want to stay ahead of the financial curve. In the current market situation, we thought it prudent to continue this policy and raise money that was potentially available.

With the $243 million closed of this latest round, that brings Fisker’s total of private investment to over $866 million. Fisker also has a Department of Energy loan of $528.7 million, which it scored back in Sept. 2009. (See my article Are there more Solyndras out there?) So with private investment and loans, Fisker has raised $1.4 billion. Yes, that’s much more money than Valley-backed startups usually raise.

Fisker will use this funding to ramp-up production of its inaugural car, the Karma, and potentially to produce and start selling its second car, Project Nina, in 2013.