Chinese electric vehicle startup WM Motor simply pocketed an outsize investment to sustain growth in a competitive landscape increasingly wished for by foreign rival Tesla The five-year-old business raised 10 billion yuan ($ 1.47 billion) in a Series D round, it announced on Tuesday, which will pay for research and development, branding, marketing and growth of its sales channel.
WM Motor, backed by Baidu and Tencent, is one of the highest-funded EV startups in China, alongside Nio, Xpeng, and Li Automobile, which have gone public in New York. With its most current capital increase, WM Motor could be gearing up for an initial public offering. As Bloomberg’s sources in July said, the business was weighing a listing on China’s Nasdaq-style STAR board as soon as this year.
Days prior to its funding news, WM Motor unveiled its crucial partners and providers: Qualcomm Snapdragon’s cockpit chips will power the start-up’s in-cabin experience; Baidu’s Apollo autonomous driving system will offer WM lorries self-parking ability;-LRB- Unisplendour, rooted in China’s Tsinghua University, will take care of the hardware side of self-governing driving; and finally, incorporated circuit company Sino IC Leasing will deal with “vehicle connectivity” for WM Motor, whatever that term requires.
It’s not uncommon to see the brand-new generation of EV makers looking for external collaborations, given their restricted experience in production. WM Motor’s competing Xpeng likewise works with Blackberry, Desay EV, and Nvidia to provide its smart EVs.
WM Motor was founded by vehicle veteran Freeman Shen, who previously held executive positions at Volvo, Fiat, and Geely in China.
The startup just recently announced an ambitious strategy for the next 3-5 years to allocate 20 billion yuan ($ 2. That’s a huge portion of the start-up’s overall rise, which is estimated to be north of $3 billion, based on Crunchbase information and its newest financing figure.
WM Motor’s latest round, for instance, is led by a state-owned investment platform and state-owned carmaker SAIC Motor, both based in Shanghai where the startup’s headquarters live. The city is also house to Tesla’s Gigafactory, where the American huge churns out made-in-China automobiles.
In July, the Chinese EV upstart provided its 30,000 th EX5 SUV vehicle, which comes at about $22,000 with state subsidy and includes the likes of in-car video streaming and air filtration. The business claimed that parents of young kids represent nearly 70%of its consumers.