Ambitious Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup Xpeng Motors continues to amass funding as it moves towards its goal of launching an IPO on the NASDAQ at Wall Street within the year. A listing in Shanghai for the "Tesla Killer" will follow.
The firm from Guangzhou founded only in 2014 is, currently, in talks with a group of investors to raise $300 million in funding ahead of the IPO. In November 2019, Xpeng raised $400 million in a third fundraising round, which saw smartphone maker Xiaomi Corporation come onboard as a strategic investor.
State-owned sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) is one of the investors in the current funding round. Also among Xpeng's investors are U.S. tech sector hedge fund Coatue Management LLC; private equity firm Hillhouse Capital Group based in Hong Kong; Sequoia Capital China, a subsidiary of U.S. venture capital firm, Sequoia Capital, and U.S. scientific and technical instrument maker Aspex Corporation.
Analysts said the final amount raised will likely be larger than $300 million since a number of investors appear eager to place their bets on Xpeng, which so far has built and delivered two EV models: the Xpeng G3 SUV in 2019 and the Xpeng P7 sedan this July.
The Xpeng G3 SUV, the company's first production model, was launched in December 2018 at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. First deliveries to customers were made in the spring of 2019. The P7 long-range, four-door electric sedan premiered in April 2019 at the 2019 Auto Shanghai carshow
Back in March 2019, Xpeng founder and CEO He Xiaopeng said the company was actively looking at the next round of funding amounting to $500 million or more in both equity and debt. Xpeng Motors previously raised $1.3 billion.
He said the new funding will be used to boost production and to complete the construction of the company's own factory. He said the factory will be producing EVs on a "big scale."
"The auto industry is capital intensive, and at the same time, has a strict requirement for operation and efficiency," said He. "We want to focus on getting more orders and delivering the cars this year and next before we start considering going public."
Xpeng opened its car factory only last June 10. The factory is located at the city of Zhaoqing in Guangdong Province. This highly automated manufacturing plant deploys 264 intelligent industrial robots and is operated by what the company describes as a "600-member professional team."