Chinese EV Startup Nio Raises $1 Billion From Tencent & Others

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【Summary】​Nio, the Chinese electric vehicle startup whose U.S. subsidiary is led by former Cisco Systems technology chief Padmasree Warrior, has reportedly raised $1 billion in new funding at a valuation of about $5 billion.

  Eric Walz  ·  Nov 09, 2017 2:00 PM PT
author: Eric Walz   

Nio, the Chinese electric vehicle startup whose U.S. subsidiary is led by former Cisco Systems technology chief Padmasree Warrior, has reportedly raised $1 billion in new funding at a valuation of about $5 billion.

Reuters cited undisclosed sources who said the mega funding for Nio was led by existing investor Tencent Holdings Ltd. The startup's new investors in the round include U.S. hedge fund Lone Pine Capital, Chinese investment firm CITIC Capital and Scottish fund manager Baillie Gifford.

The Chinese government is targeting electric and self-driving vehicles as an area of technology that it wants to be a world leader in by 2025. Nio has said it plans to bring a plug-in autonomous car to the U.S. market by 2020.

Bloomberg also reported this week that Tencent, which is a major investor in California-based electric car maker Tesla, has developed its own autonomous driving system. The Shenzhen-based company has also invested in mapping, Internet connectivity and image recognition.

Shanghai-based Nio was founded by Chinese internet entrepreneur William Li in 2014. The company was formally known as NextEV. It has now raised a total of about $2.1 billion in funding. Other investors include Hillhouse Capital Group and Sequoia Capital.

Nio plans to release its first mass production car the ES8 in the middle of next month. It is a pure-electric, seven-seat sport-utility vehicle which the company said would offer more features than the Tesla Model X at a lower price.

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