After NIO and Li Auto, China's third electric car startup has landed on the US stock market.
On August 27, Xpeng officially landed on the New York Stock Exchange, issuing 99,733,334 ADSs at $15. In the case of Li Auto and NIO plummeted, Xpeng opened up 60% and closed at $21.22, with a market capitalization of more than $14.9 billion.
Currently, Li Auto has a market capitalization of $16.2 billion and NIO has a market capitalization of $23.5 billion. Xpeng's price-to-sales ratio is more than twice that of NIO, which is roughly four times its own total revenue.
He Xiaopeng said that UC Web was sold to Alibaba and that he had a great time with Alibaba. The only regret is that I did not bring the investors of UC Web, including Lei Jun, Liu Qin, Fu Jixun, to the IPO site to ring the bell, and now this has finally been made up through Xpeng.
The Xpeng IPO, Lei Jun, Yu Yongfu and others appeared on the scene.
Back in 2004, He Xiaopeng co-founded UC Web with Liang Jie and Yu Yongfu.
Ten years later, when UC Web was sold to Alibaba for nearly $4 billion, He Xiaopeng joined the Alibaba system and served as president of Alibaba Mobile Group, chairman of Alibaba Games, and president of Tudou Video.
Xpeng was founded in 2014 by He Xiaopeng, Xia Heng and He Tao, and was formerly known as "Chengxing Zhidong".
Its core member He Xiaopeng is also the only entrepreneur in the EV startup who is both a programmer and a product manager.
He Xiaopeng left Alibaba in August 2017 and has since joined Xpeng, where his role officially changed from investor to chairman of Xpeng.
Unlike the service-oriented NIO and Li Auto, which uses the range extended system, Xpeng is positioned in the mid- to high-end electric vehicles, with a focus on intelligence.
Compared to NIO and Li Auto, Xpeng is in direct competition with Tesla. The latest production sedan, Xpeng P7, began delivery in May, and is clearly competing with Model 3 for customers.
Xpeng and Tesla have a long-standing feud and have been in direct conflict for a long time.
Xpeng's current employee, Cao Guangzhi, was sued by his former employer, Tesla, in 2019 for "commercial theft. Cao Guangzhi has now pleaded guilty in court to uploading the code in his own name.
Zhang Xiaolang, a former employee of Apple's driverless team, was also arrested on suspicion of stealing trade secrets.
Now that the P7 is competing directly with the Tesla Model 3, He Xiaopeng should know that Tesla will not ignore the growth of its new rival. Xpeng's sales will face a lot of resistance from Tesla in the future.
Can Xpeng, in the future, truly become Tesla's "biggest enemy?"
Different technology route
In terms of revenue, Xpeng's 2018 and 2019 revenue was RMB 9.7 million and RMB 2.321 billion (approximately US$329 million), respectively. In addition, Xpeng's revenue for the first half of 2020 was RMB 1.003 billion (approximately $142 million), compared to RMB 1.232 billion in the same period last year.
Xpeng's net losses for 2018 and 2019 were RMB 1,398.8 million and RMB 3,692 million (approximately US$522 million), respectively; Xpeng's net loss for the first half of 2020 was RMB 796 million (approximately US$113 million), compared to a net loss of RMB 1,918 million for the same period last year.
Xpeng currently sells two models, Xpeng G3 and Xpeng P7. As of the end of July 2020, Xpeng G3 has delivered a total of 18,741 units; Xpeng P7 has been delivered since the end of June 2020, with a total of 1,966 units delivered.
Currently, He Xiaopeng holds 31.6% as the largest shareholder, Alibaba holds 14.4% as the second largest shareholder, Xpeng founders Xia Heng and He Tao hold 4.9% and 1.6% respectively, and other major shareholders include Xiaomi, GGV Capital, Morningside, and Morningside. Venture Capital.
Among the three major electric vehicle startups, Xpeng has the highest proportion of R&D expenses and R&D staff, and has invested the most in intelligent self-research.
Xpeng's R&D investment in 2019 reached RMB 2.07 billion (approximately $293 million), a significant increase from RMB 1.05 billion in 2018, and Xpeng's R&D investment as a percentage of revenue reached 89.18% in 2019.
Whether it is automated driving, intelligent interaction systems or powertrain systems, Xpeng is at the forefront of the industry.
For automated driving, Xpeng has developed the Xpilot automated driving software system, based on NVIDIA's Xavier automated driving chip.
Tesla's Autopilot is clearly the most popular benchmark in the industry, and Xpeng is the first of several homegrown smart electric car companies to develop and commercialize a similar product on its own.
However, Xpeng's proud technology once got itself into a lawsuit with Tesla and Apple and suffered many questions.
Surviving the toughest moments of owner revolt
He Xiaopeng, Chairman and CEO of Xpeng, reviewed his two entrepreneurial experiences and expressed his gratitude to the investors for investing in Xpeng in the most miserable and lonely time of our lives.
In fact, Xpeng has completed 10 rounds of financing since its founding, and has raised more than $2.5 billion in total funding.
Xpeng has raised more money than Li Auto and NIO in pre-IPO funding. With the sound of the IPO bell, a feast of capital has begun and all of Xpeng's investors have become the biggest winners.
"I want to thank the group of car owners and friends who trusted us, and when Xpeng was just starting, the first and second cars, I was really impressed that tens of thousands of car owners and friends took cars that sold for an average of RMB 260,000 and bought so many of our cars," He Xiaopeng said.
This group of "hardcore fans" who paid money to support Xpeng had broken with Xpeng for a time.
In July 2019, Xpeng released the Xpeng G3 2020 model, the new car is divided into two models, G3 520 and G3 400, with a nationwide uniform price range of RMB 143,800 yuan - RMB 196,800 yuan after comprehensive subsidies.
Compared to the 2019 version of the G3, the G3 2020 model offers a significant breakthrough in range, battery configuration, and autopilot performance, but the price difference between the two is small.
The new model has a range of up to 520km (NEDC combined range), while the G3 2019 version has only 365Km.
As soon as news of the upgrade's release broke, a 500-strong advocacy group was quickly built across the country, and Weibo and the official app were flooded with owners' discontent.
In the past few years, there have been a lot of people who have come to Xpeng's headquarters and city service centers to defend their rights, accusing Xpeng of "consumer fraud".
The reason for their discontent was that the refreshed model program had been in existence for at least 10 months, and that the more than 10,000 old G3s with a range of 365 kilometers were "old cars that were destined for obsolescence at launch.
After two days of fermentation, He Xiaopeng publicly apologized and offered a compensation plan.
At the beginning of his business, He Xiaopeng once said, "Fearing tradition is my insight after entering the Internet to make cars. He Xiaopeng's fear of the user should be his biggest insight after entering the Internet to sell cars.
And after the storm, Xpeng may gain even more growth. After all, the IPO is just a blood transfusion for the carmaker.
Can't avoid the high-end brand battle
On the evening of June 6, Li Auto's Li Xiang took a photo with He Xiaopeng and NIO's William Li Bin in his circle of friends, which aroused great attention.
The founders of Xpeng, NIO and Li Auto, He Xiaopeng, William Li Bin and Li Xiang, have a lot in common: they are serial entrepreneurs who have made a name for themselves in the industry before building cars, and eventually they all participate in building new energy products.
In 2019, NIO was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, while Li Auto encountered financing difficulties, with the former finally receiving funding from the Hefei city government and the latter receiving help from Meituan Dianping's Wang Xing and ByteDance's Zhang Yiming.
In contrast, He Xiaopeng's car-building story may not have a lot of waves and aura, but it has the quiet support of Lei Jun.
He Xiaopeng and Lei Jun are both from Hubei province, and when He Xiaopeng started UC Web, Lei Jun was the chairman of UC Web.
On May 3, 2018, Xiaomi submitted its IPO prospectus to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and Lei Jun wrote a famous open letter, "Who is Xiaomi and why is Xiaomi fighting for".
He Xiaopeng then wrote: "Life needs a mentor, and entrepreneurship needs a valuable person, and for me, Lei Jun is such a mentor and a valuable person."
Unlike the NIO and Li Auto, which went mid-to-high-end right off the bat, Xpeng's first compact SUV, the G3, was a low- to mid-range utility model that was quite a bit of a "Xiaomi".
The Xpeng G3's 2020 price range is between RMB 146,800 and RMB 199,800 (before subsidies), which is less than half the price of the NIO ES6 and EC6 (between RMB 360,000 and RMB 520,000).
Deliveries of the latest production sedan, the Xpeng P7, which began in May and is clearly benchmarked against the Model 3, sold 6,639 units through July, compared to the Model 3's 46,464 sales through June, with the latter selling almost eight times as many units as the former.
With a new product against Tesla, He Xiaopeng's core challenge going forward is the battle for premium brands, the same one his mentors Lei Jun and Xiaomi are facing today. In any case, the IPO is a good start.