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Geely's EV brand Zeekr raises US$500 million in first external funding

Geely's EV brand Zeekr raises US$500 million in first external funding

A Zeekr 001 electric vehicle (EV) by Geely is seen displayed at the Zeekr booth during a media day for the Auto Shanghai show in Shanghai, China April 19, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

BEIJING :Zeekr, the electric vehicle brand by Geely, said on Friday it raised US$500 million in its first external funding from investors including Intel Capital, battery maker CATL and online entertainment firm Bilibili.

Led by Chief Executive Andy An, who is also Geely's president, Zeekr said investors would jointly hold a 5.6per cent stake in the company, valuing it around US$9 billion. Chief financial officer Yuan Jing told reporters that Zeekr does not currently have a clear plan for its initial public offering.

The company makes the Zeekr 001 model in the eastern city of Ningbo and is expected to start delivering them later this year. It aims to sell 650,000 vehicles a year by 2025.

Investors also included Cathay Fortune Corporation, which invests in mining companies, and private-equity firm Boyu Capital that additionally signed long-term investment partnerships with Zeekr, the carmaker said in a statement.

Zeekr, which targets young and trendy customers, is jointly owned by Geely Automobile and its parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

The companies are expected to contribute expertise in intelligent connectivity, batteries, young consumer markets and raw materials, it said.

Car companies globally are working with more tech companies, battery makers and mining firms to develop future products and secure supply of components amid a shift towards electric vehicles (EV).

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the owner of Volvo Cars and a 9.7per cent stake in Daimler AG, and Geely Automobile launched the Zeekr in March this year to compete with EV companies including Tesla Inc and Nio Inc. They jointly invested 2 billion yuan (US$308.4 million) into the brand earlier.

Zeekr, like other global automakers, is trying to secure more chips that is used in its vehicles to ramp up production. Its executive said in June that it has sold out of deliveries for this year.

It also has other electric vehicle brands including mass-market Geometry, which saw sales growing in the past months, and premium Polestar.

(US$1 = 6.4847 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Stephen Coates and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

Source: Reuters

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