Hangzhou-based electric vehicle maker Leap Motor has raised RMB2 billion ($290 million) for its ongoing Series A round led by Shanghai Electric Group, it said in an announcement on November 21.
The startup aims to raise RMB2.5 billion ($360 million) by the end of the year. Other investors that joined the round are existing investors Sequoia Capital China and Industrial Securities.
According to Leap Motor, the proceeds raised will be used for R&D of completed vehicles, EV battery, electric motor and control as well as to boost its marketing activities. It will also work with Shanghai Electric on resource sharing and utilisation of manufacturing and electric-drive powertrain.
Leap Motor said that its welding plant in Jinhua, Zhejiang province will be completed in the first quarter of 2019. Meanwhile, the first batch of its EVs – LP-S01 will hit the market in January. The startup last raised a $62-million round from Sequoia Capital China this January.
Founded in 2015, Leap Motor has been backed by Shenzhen-listed Dahua Technology Co Ltd, a provider of video surveillance products and services. It aims to produce fashionable smart electric cars for Chinese consumers.
As the Chinese government promotes new energy vehicles (NEV), many EV startups have been on a fundraising spree. NEV is a category comprising battery-powered and plug-in battery-petrol hybrid cars to help reduce air pollution and support high technology development.
Last month, WM Motor Technology was said to be raising at least RMB2 billion ($290 million) in its latest round to finance growth, with internet giant Baidu reportedly leading the round.
NIO, also known as the Tesla of China, raised $1 billion in its US IPO in September, while another Chinese electric car maker and unicorn startup Byton, formerly known as Future Mobility Corp, is mulling an IPO to fund future growth.