Chinese EV maker WM Motor has completed its 10 billion RMB Series D round of financing, which was co-led by Shanghai State-owned Assets Investment Platform and Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC), with Baidu and SIG participating in the round, according to 36kr.com.
This round of funding is also a Pre-IPO financing for WM Motor. The report cites sources as saying that WM Motor has already initiated a change in the company's shareholding structure to prepare for its listing on the board. With the completion of the Series D round of financing, WM Motor will make a public filing in October.
Last week, the Beijing News reported that WM Motor has completed its Series D round of financing, led by Hefei Industrial Investment and Guidance Fund Co. with an investment of 1 billion yuan.
SAIC followed with an investment of RMB 500 million, the report said, adding that WM Motor is valued at nearly RMB 35 billion ($5.17 billion) after completing its Series D round of investment.
After the Series D round, WM Motor will submit an application for listing on China's Nasdaq-style sci-tech innovation board, also known as the STAR market, in October, and is expected to go public as early as this year, the report said.
Both Li Auto and Xpeng were listed on the US stock exchange just 2 months before WM Motor's Series D round of financing.
NIO also took the opportunity to raise $1.7 billion by issuing additional shares. The three companies already have more than RMB 15 billion in hand each.
WM Motor, on the other hand, has set its sights on the domestic RMB market, bringing in a large number of state-owned industrial and strategic investors, and has raised the largest single amount of funding for new car manufacturing in its Series D round.
Some industry insiders believe that WM Motor introduced a large number of state-owned institutions in the Series D round of financing because they are long-term funds that can be locked in for three years after listing. In the U.S. stock market, in addition to cornerstone investors, many hedge funds sell their shares after the six-month lock-up period.
It is expected that after the Pre-IPO and IPO, WM Motor will also raise more than 10 billion RMB.
The continued high delivery numbers are the foundation for this wave of capital growth for Chinese new energy vehicle startups.
Since the second quarter of this year, NIO has delivered more than 3,500 units per month, while Li Auto, Xpeng and WM Motor have also delivered more than 2,000 units per month.
WM Motor was founded in 2015 by former Volvo Cars China chairman Shen Hui, and all of the company's founding members also come from traditional car companies.
Compared to NIO, Li Auto and Xpeng, which were founded by internet entrepreneurs, WM Motor follows a lot of traditional automotive industry thinking from manufacturing to product positioning and R&D investment strategy, which has made it more low-key in the last year.