For many riders, Lightning Motorcycle was a flash in the pan. The Silicon Valley-based brand couldn’t lose in the early 2010s. Lightning lived up to its name at the Bonneville Salt Flats in 2011, setting a new land-speed record with a 218-mile-per-hour run. In 2013, the firm backed up that straight-line speed with a mountain-carving win at the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Unfortunately, Lightning couldn’t translate its competition caliber into successful production runs. Delays plagued the flagship LS-218's debut while the mid-tier Strike model couldn't live up to even its budget-friendly expectations. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Lightning Motorcycle CEO Richard Hatfield regrouped—downsizing the startup to occupy a portion of Corbin Motorcycle Saddle’s Hollister, California, headquarters.

Shortly after, Lightning distributed a series of press releases stating the brand’s partnership with Niobium specialist CBMM, announcing its fully enclosed Streetliner model, and claiming a 10-minute charging time with its Enevate-developed battery. Despite those eye-catching projects, interest in Lightning remains low.

Partnering with financial tech/capital marketing company Netcapital, the electric mobility startup launched an equity crowdfunding campaign with a primary offering of 473,484 shares on March 16, 2023. At $10.56 per share, users will need to purchase 10 shares to meet the campaign’s $105.60 minimum investment limit.

Lightning hopes to raise up to $4,999,991, as crowdfunding regulations cap fundraising at $5M. There’s just one problem, the campaign has only raised $47,319 with just three days until its April 28, 2023, deadline. If investors don’t purchase $10,000 worth of Lightning Motorcycle shares by that date, Netcapital will return funds to those that already pledged to the campaign.

While the prospects look bleak, Netcapital lists the company with a $75,188,879 valuation. On the other hand, Netcaptial also notes that “The price of the Securities was determined solely by the management and bears no relation to traditional measures of valuation such as book value or price-to-earnings ratios.”

Lightning Motorcycle may have returned to the front page the past year, but without sufficient funds, a true return to prominence will remain an uphill battle.

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