Chinese EV maker Lixiang closes USD 530 million Series C round with cash from Meituan’s founder and ByteDance, valued above Nio

With new funds in hand, Lixiang says it will start to mass produce its first hybrid SUV in October.

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Chinese electric vehicle maker Lixiang has closed its USD 530 million Series C fundraising round36Kr reported on Monday, citing one of the investors.

Wang Xing,  founder and CEO of China’s on-demand service provider Meituan, led the round, personally contributing nearly USD 300 million.

ByteDance poured in USD 30 million, while Li Xiang, founder of the EV maker, which was previously known as CHJ Automobile, personally invested nearly USD 100 million. The company name Lixiang means “ideal” and is a homonym of the founder’s name.

Lixiang is now valued at USD 2.93 billion, above the current market capitalization of another Chinese EV maker Nio, which slid more than 50% since start of this year to USD 2.28 billion by Friday.

With new funds in hand, Lixiang said that it will begin mass productions of Lixiang One, the company’s first hybrid SUV, in October, according to another 36Kr report. The EV maker added that it expects delivery could start as early as November — ahead of the original expectation of March 2020.

Previously, Li posted on his Sina Weibo account that 10,000 orders have been placed for the Lixiang One. It is priced at RMB 328,000 (nearly USD 47,500), which is about the same as the most affordable of Tesla’s China-made vehicles.

In late May, Tesla opened pre-orders for vehicles that will be made in its Shanghai plant. The company has promised to deliver cars to buyers before November.

Already, Tesla has drummed up momentum in China. It earned USD 1.47 billion in revenue in the first half of this year in the country, up 41.8% year-on-year, driven by the introduction of the US-manufactured Model 3 into China.

Lixiang is building a variable interest entity (VIE) structure for the purpose of going public in an overseas stock market, according to documents submitted by Chinese pump producer LEO Group to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in June.

36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.