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.