Chinese Tesla Rival Xpeng Motors Bags US$500M Series C+

With the latest investment, Xpeng’s total funding now stands at US$2.2 billion

Chinese smart electric vehicles (EV) startup Xpeng Motors has raised US$500 million in a Series C+ round of financing from a group of investors including Aspex Management, Coatue Management, Hillhouse Capital and Sequoia Capital China, the startup announced in a press release yesterday.

The Alibaba and Foxconn-backed startup had raised $400 million in its Series C funding round in November last year. With the fresh capital infusion, Xpeng’s total funding stands at $2.2 billion, not including yuan raised, according to Crunchbase.

Although Xpeng did not disclose the startup’s valuation post this round, it was valued at $3.6 billion (RMB25 billion) in 2018. The startup’s other investors include IDG Capital, Primavera Capital, GGV Capital, Xiaomi, Morningside Venture Capital, K11 Investment, and even Xpeng’s Chairman and CEO Lei Jun.

“The signing of the Series C+ financing demonstrates investors’ confidence in the Company’s strategy, market positioning and its long-term vision as a leading Smart EV player in China,” the startup said in the statement.

Founded in 2015, the Tesla rival designs, develops, manufactures, and markets Smart EVs to the large and growing base of technology-savvy middle-class consumers in China. Xpeng’s technology claims to be on par with Tesla’s, but the Chinese startup’s latest model, the P7, is sold at almost $50,000 less than Tesla models in China, making it more affordable for the huge middle class population in the country.

The startup launched its first vehicle, the G3 compact SUV, in December 2018, and managed to launch its second EV model, the P7 sports sedan in April 2020 despite the pandemic, after testing it on U.S. roads in March. The startup has also secured a production license for its self-built fully-owned factory in Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province in May 2020, according to the statement.

Xpeng, which was inspired by Tesla, aims to become the leading smart EV player in China, and is working on its own advanced autonomous driving system called “XPilot” that will offer hands-free driving.

The signing of the Series C+ financing demonstrates investors’ confidence in the Company’s strategy, market positioning and its long-term vision as a leading Smart EV player in China.

Although China’s EV market was projected to grow at 28% CAGR from around $74 billion in 2018, to $330 billion by 2024, the global pandemic has hit the sector hard with sales of new energy vehicles declining by 33.1% year-on-year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

However, sales have been creeping up every month as the Chinese economy is slowly showing signs of recovering from the pandemic.

Moreover, the Chinese government, in hopes of stimulating the EV market, introduced new policies and extended its new energy vehicle subsidies and tax break policies that were set to expire this year, to 2022.

Header image courtesy of Xpeng Motors

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