Chinese EV maker Lixiang raises $530m Series C funding led by Meituan founder

Chinese electric vehicle producer Lixiang Automotive, formerly CHJ Automotive, has banked a $530-million Series C funding at a post-investment valuation of $2.93 billion, its early backer Plum Ventures said in an announcement.

The round was led by Wang Xing, founder and CEO of online services giant Meituan-Dianping, according to the statement.

While Plum Ventures did not divulge further details, Chinese media reported that Xing alone pumped in around $300 million in this round, which brought the total financing for Lixiang to nearly $1.58 billion.

It was also said that Tiktok operator ByteDance participated with a $30-million cash injection. Other investors joining the new investors are Lixiang’s existing shareholders such as Matrix Partners China, Bluerun Ventures and Future Capital.

The company’s founder, Li Xiang, reportedly poured another $100 million in the business.

Lixiang will commence mass production of its first hybrid SUV model Li One in October and target to deliver to consumers in the following month, according to Plum Ventures.

The company has built a battery capacity equivalent to 160kWh, suitable for the daily use and travel needs of Chinese consumers, the venture capital firm added.

With this latest investment in the EV segment, Meituan has reaffirmed its interest in the market after launching shared mobility services and partnering with Chinese EV maker Sitech to operate its car-sharing services in Guiyang, Southwestern China.

It has recently expanded ride-hailing services to an addition of 15 cities of China, per local media reports.

With Lixiang cars priced at 328,000 Chinese yuan ($46,500) per unit, it will be another answer to Tesla which expects delivery of its local products before November.

The latest investment also drove Lixiang’s valuation closer to its Chinese rival NIO, currently listed on New York Stock Exchange with a market cap of $3.1 billion.

Prior to the deal, WM Motor closed a 3-billion-yuan Series C round led by Baidu, while Byton was said to be clinching $500 million in fresh funding, according to a report by Bloomberg.

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.