Chinese electric vehicle maker Leap Motor raises $290m in funding

Photo: Reuters

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.

Also read:

NIO – The Road Ahead for “China’s Tesla”

Chinese EV maker Byton said to explore IPO route to fund expansion plans

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.