Baidu-backed Chinese EV startup WM Motor raises $1.5 billion

September 21, 2020 11:09 PM EDT

FILE PHOTO: WM Motor's founder and CEO Freeman Shen and Vice President of Strategic Planning, Lobo Lu attend the WM Motor brand launch event in Shanghai, China, December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Aly Song


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BEIJING (Reuters) - Baidu-backed (NASDAQ: BIDU) Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup WM Motor said on Tuesday it has raised 10 billion yuan ($1.47 billion) in its latest funding round.

As enthusiasm builds for more climate-friendly vehicles, shares of EV makers, including Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Nio Inc (NYSE: NIO), have surged in recent months and auto makers are looking to the markets for funds.

Shanghai-based WM's local rivals Li Auto Inc (NASDAQ: LI), Xpeng Inc (NYSE: XPEV) are listed in New York.

Investors in WM's latest funding round include Shanghai's state-owned asset regulator's investment firms and SAIC Motor <600104.SS>. WM did not disclose its valuation after the funding.

The funding will help WM further develop intelligent vehicle technologies and expand sales channels. The company is eyeing a STAR board listing and has started preparing for it, sources familiar with the matter said.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)



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