(Yicai Global) Aug. 19 -- Electric car startup Lixiang Automotive has raked in USD530 million in C-round financing, some USD300 million of which came from Wang Xing, founder and chief executive of lifestyle service provider Meituan-Dianping.
The Beijing-based unicorn has raised over USD1.57 billion since it was founded in 2015, driving up its market valuation to USD2.9 billion, sci-tech innovation site Lieyunwang reported. Other investors this time included Matrix Partners China, Future Capital and Bluerun Ventures.
The latest injection of funds will allow Lixiang's first electric sport utility vehicle, Leading Ideal One, to start mass production in October with deliveries expected to begin in November. The media will be able to test drive the vehicles from this month, and consumers from next month in 13 cities, the firm said.
Formerly known as CHJ Automotive, Lixiang debuted the SUV last October. With an 800-kilometer range, it retails for CNY328,000 (USD46,552). The firm has dedicated retail outlets in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Tianjin.
Founder Li Xiang, once dubbed China's Elon Musk, also set up auto sales platform Autohome in 2005. It was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2013.