China’s Tencent Reported To Lead $1B Round In Chinese EV Firm NIO

Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. has led a new funding round worth over US$1 billion in NIO, a Shanghai-based electric vehicle company founded by a top Chinese automobile executive.

A number of investors including U.K.-based Baillie Gifford, American Lone Pine Capital, China’s CITIC Capital and China Asset Management Ltd. also participated in the round, according to an article published on Tencent’s own technology news portal,

It is unclear how NIO is valued in the round. The firm, a unicorn listed on China Money Network’s China Unicorn List, was previously valued at US$2.9 billion when it raised a US$600 million round led by Tencent and Baidu Inc this March.

Tencent did not respond immediately to an inquiry from China Money Network to confirm the news.

NIO, previously known as NextEV, was founded in 2014 by William Li, who also founded New York Stock Exchange-listed Chinese automobile online content and marketing platform Bitauto Holdings Ltd. The company unveiled NIO EP9 last November, claiming it is the world’s fastest electric car, with a top speed of 313 kilometer per hour.

Seven months ago, the firm said it will launch ES8, a 7-seater electric SUV at the end of this year, with deliveries expected to start at the first half of next year. At the same time, it would begin taking pre-orders of their flagship super-car EP9, with a price tag of US$1.48 million.

This March, NIO raised US$600 million new funding round led by Tencent and Baidu Inc.

In July last year, it was reported that the company has raised an undisclosed funding round led by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings, with participation from global private equity giant TPG, China’s Hopu Investment Management and Lenovo Group.

One year prior, it also raised a US$500 million round from investors including Sequoia Capital China and Joy Capital.