Tesla Ups Ante for IPO

Tesla Motors (s TSLA) has upped the ante on its IPO, just one day ahead of its scheduled offering. According to an update posted this morning with the SEC, Tesla plans to sell 13.3 million shares tomorrow, up from the 11.1 million shares previously planned for the initial public offering. The estimated price per share remains unchanged at between $14 and $16.

As Bloomberg notes that’s a 20 percent increase in shares. The move is a sign that investor interest in the startup is strong and perhaps Tesla will debut with a powerhouse IPO on its hands after all (here’s what a successful Tesla IPO could do for the green car biz).

Priced at the high end of this range, peHUB reports, Tesla would be valued at around $1.5 billion. At the $15 per share midpoint, Tesla would raise just under $200 million in its public trading debut.

In his “road show” pitch to potential investors, CEO Elon Musk has been emphasizing Tesla’s competitive strength as a tech innovator, saying, “We’re a friggin’ technology Velociraptor.”

Tesla won’t be making any profits, however, for quite some time. Net losses for the company grew to $29.52 million in the first three months of 2010, up from $16.02 million in the year-earlier period. During the first three months of this year, Tesla reported $20.81 million in revenue, including $20.59 million automotive sales and the remainder made up of revenue from development services. That compares to $20.89 million in revenue during the same period of 2009.

Tesla’s investors include CEO Elon Musk as well as The Westly Group, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Google (s GOOG) founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, German automaker Daimler (s DAI), Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments and others.

Toyota Motor Corp. (s TM) has agreed to buy a $50 million stake in Tesla at the IPO share price immediately following this week’s public offering. Yet ties between the two companies remain very limited at this point, and Tesla has a long road ahead to start cranking out the Model S in large numbers, the key for Tesla to reach profitability.

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