Roborock Founder Receives New Funding for Automobile Project
“Luoke Automobile”, the automobile project of Chang Jing, the founder and CEO of Roborock, has completed a round D of financing worth $200 million, bringing the project’s valuation to $2 billion, 36Kr reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The leading investor is Coatue, an American hedge fund. Well-known institutions such as Sequoia Capital and IDG Capital also invested. Luoke Automobile declined to comment on the report.
Although Luoke Automobile has never made official announcement, Chang’s successful entrepreneurial experience has brought much attention to the new auto business. Tencent had previously led the $50 million round C financing of Luoke Automobile. NIO Capital, Meituan and investments from other institutions were declined by Chang considering the relationship between the first two platforms and the other main EV makers, NIO and Li Auto.
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The positioning of Luoke Automobile’s first car is an off-road model benchmarked against the Mercedes-Benz G Series with the aim to exceed 1,000 kilometers on a single battery charge.
The first car of the Luoke Automobile is expected to be launched in 2023 with a price range of 300,000-500,000 yuan. At present, Luoke Automobile is headquartered in Shanghai with Chang Jing as the chairman of the company. Yan Feng, former CTO of WM Motor, has also joined the company as CEO.
Not long ago, information disclosed by the Tianyancha app showed that Anhui Luoke Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd. was established in Wuhu Economic Development Zone, Anhui Province, which gave rise to discussion about its plant base.
Compared with William Li and Li Xiang, the founder of NIO and Li Auto, Chang Jing entered the market five years later. In 2018, the valuation of NIO in its round B financing reached $2 billion, while the valuation of Luoke Automobile reached the same level in its round D financing. Under the background of Xiaomi‘s vehicle manufacturing plan and the intensive transformation of traditional car companies such as BYD and Geely, the attitude of investment institutions towards vehicle manufacturing startups tended to be conservative.