Chinese electric vehicle company Chehejia has raised a combined 780 million RMB (US$120 million) in series A funding at a valuation of 2.98 billion RMB from seven investors, according to company founder Li Xiang.
Founded in July last year, Chehejia is backed by a group of seasoned entrepreneurs. Li Xiang has launched two successful startups, Pcpop.com and US-listed automobile site Autohome.com. He is also a co-founder of NextEV, the electric car maker looking to take on Tesla. Li Xiang and Li Bin, another co-founder of Autohome.com launched NextEV last year to go after the top-tier electric vehicle market.
Unlike NextEV which is currently developing high-end concepts and supercars, Chehejia provides smart transportation solutions for mass market users. The ten-month-old startup is developing two smart car models: an SEV for short-distance urban transportation and a more powerful SUV for long-distance journeys.
According to Li, the two models will cover over 90% of the transportation demands of urban citizens, adding that Chehejia’s vehicles will be less dependent on charging piles.
Li has been seeking funding to support his vision since November last year and the current round will increase the company’s total funding raised to 2.5 billion RMB. He noted then that it will take US$200 million and four years for product development and marketing before the Chehejia vehicles are available for mass production.
LEO Group leads this series with a 350 million RMB in exchange for an 11.74% stake in the Beijing-based startup. Other investors include Source Code Fund, Changzhou Wujin Industry Fund and Future Capital.
The latest injection of capital will be used in R&D and the construction of production bases, according to the company. The firm disclosed that the construction of an aluminum production plant and a battery manufacturing factory located in Changzhou Wujin High-Tech Park has begun.