Alibaba-backed EV startup XPeng raises $400m for growth

Sales of new energy vehicles in China have witnessed a decline in 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 13 November 2019

Alibaba-backed EV startup XPeng raises $400m for growth

HONG KONG, BEIJING: Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer XPeng, backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., said on Wednesday it has raised $400 million from investors including Xiaomi Corp. to fund its growth.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier about the fundraising and about Xiaomi being an investor.

The fundraising comes at what bankers and industry insiders describe as an increasingly tough financing environment for Chinese EV startups which must jostle for attention in a crowded sector and produce convincing arguments about future profitability despite government cuts to EV subsidies and plans to phase them out.

XPeng, which announced the fundraising in a statement, did not comment on its valuation. But the sources said the latest fundraising valued the five-year-old firm, led by 42-year-old tech entrepreneur He Xiaopeng, at nearly $4 billion, higher than the 25 billion yuan ($3.57 billion) valuation in the last funding round.

The dollar fundraising comes as Guangzhou-based XPeng, which has mostly raised yuan-denominated capital, mulls going public in the coming years, with New York among one of possible listing venues, the people said. It is also considering Hong Kong and Shanghai’s Nasdaq-style tech board, said one of them.

With Xiaomi, XPeng will explore more applications of smartphone technologies on intelligent connected vehicles, said one of the sources.

“The signing of the new fundraising, which not only attracted new strategic investors such as Xiaomi Corporation but also received strong support from many of our current shareholders, is a renewed endorsement of our long-term strategy,” XPeng Chief Executive He said in the statement.

The proceeds will be mainly used for research and development of autonomous driving-related software, mass production of its G3 sport-utility vehicle model and P7 sedan, branding and expanding its retail network, said one of the people, who declined to be identified as the matter was private.

XPeng also secured “several billions” of yuan-dominated unsecured credit lines from banks including China Merchants Bank, China CITIC Bank and HSBC, the statement said, without specifying figures.


Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea mega project awards contracts for international airport

Updated 33 min 56 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea mega project awards contracts for international airport

  • Saudi Arabia plans to develop resorts on 50 islands off the Red Sea coast, offering a nature reserve, coral reef diving and heritage sites
  • Red Sea Development Co, backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), plans to build the first phase by 2022

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Development Company said on Monday it had awarded infrastructure contracts for an international airport that is due to open in 2022.
The company, which is developing a huge Red Sea tourism project, said the contracts were awarded to Nesma & Partners Contracting Co. Ltd. and Almabani General Contractors.
Saudi Arabia plans to develop resorts on 50 islands off the Red Sea coast, offering a nature reserve, coral reef diving and heritage sites.
Red Sea Development Co, backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), plans to build the first phase by 2022. It aims to attract 300,000 tourists a year in the first phase and 800,000 to 1 million once the development is complete.
Red Sea is one of three major projects backed by PIF, along with the $500 billion NEOM economic zone and the Qiddiya entertainment project.
Saudi Arabia’s NEOM, which is building a $500 billion mega economic zone, said last week it had signed an agreement with Air Products and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power for a $5 billion green hydrogen-based ammonia production facility.