Tesla’s third-largest shareholder believes in what Elon Musk is doing at the company. And it’s willing to put up more cash if the car maker’s co-founder asks for it.
Speaking in an interview with The Times of London on Monday, Nick Thomas, partner at investment firm Baillie Gifford, said that if Musk “needs more capital, we would be willing to back him.” Thomas went on to call Musk an entrepreneur of “vision and ambition” and said that the Tesla founder is “working towards a social good.”
Thomas’ comment comes at a time when Tesla and Musk are under increasing scrutiny. Tesla is working hard to get more of its more-affordable Model 3 vehicles out the door to satisfy orders and Musk has said that the effort has been draining. He’s engaged in some erratic behavior on social media, as well, which has only made matters worse.
Earlier this year, Musk was fined $20 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after he tweeted a proposed plan to take Twitter private. He said at the time that his funding for a deal valued at $420 per share was “secured.” In addition to paying the fine for the tweet, Musk was forced to step down as Tesla’s chairman.
So far, Musk hasn’t asked for cash from investors, so it’s unclear whether Thomas will need to put any up. But at least right now, he seems ready to go if that call comes.