Chinese EV upstart Xpeng Motors announced on November 13 the signing of a Series C capital funding of $400 million from a group of strategic and institutional investors. A standout name in the list of renowned companies, individual investors and private equity firms that backed Xpeng is Xiaomi Corporation, a global consumer electronics leader who will also join as a strategic investor.
Lei Jun, CEO of Xiaomi, commented on the investment, “Xiaomi Corporation and Xpeng Motors have achieved significant progress through in-depth collaboration in developing technologies connecting smart phones and smart cars. We believe that this strategic investment will further deepen our partnership with Xpeng in advancing innovation for intelligent hardware and the Internet of Things.”
CEO of Xpeng Motors, He Xiaopeng, also shared his opinion, “We are a strong believer that smart mobility and autonomous driving are going to transform our daily lives, and we share the same vision with Xiaomi that technology innovation is the key driver in reshaping our future transportation. Xiaomi’s experience and insight in consumer behavior, technology knowhow and market trends can add tremendous value to what Xpeng Motors is set to achieve.”
Xiaomi’s strategic focus on AIoT (artificial intelligence internet of things) complements Xpeng’s vision to create a digitally advanced vehicle that provides technological convenience to accompany a premium the driving experience.
The company rolled out the 10,000th unit of its first production model, the G3 2019 smart SUV, in June, releasing the enhanced version of the car with a 520km driving rage a month later. The same month, the G3 obtained the highest total score of 92.2% among electric vehicles in the latest China New Car Assessment Program (C-NCAP) safety test.
Xpeng also premiered their second production model, the P7 sedan, which will become available in 2020.
“2019 has been an eventful year dominated by economic headwinds, uncertainties in the global markets and government policy changes that have had direct impact on overall auto sales in China. However, we were able to attain most of our business and financing targets, despite the difficult circumstances,” said Brian Gu, Vice Chairman and President of Xpeng Motors. “We have demonstrated to our shareholders our ability to sustain our business in the face of these challenging conditions.”
Xpeng was co-founded in 2014 by Henry Xia and He Tao, former senior executives at Guangzhou Auto, and later joined by He Xiaopeng, the UC Browser founder and former Alibaba executive who became the CEO of the company and one of its lead investors. The EV startup has also received funding from prominent investors including Alibaba Group and IDG Capital.