Biz / Auto

WM Motor raises additional 10 billion yuan

Hu Yumo
Series D financing will be spent on research and development, brand building, digital marketing and expanding WM's dealer network.
Hu Yumo

Shanghai-based auto startup WM Motor announced on Tuesday that it has raised 10 billion yuan (US$1.47 billion) in Series D financing.

According to the company's plans, the money will be spent on research and development, brand building, digital marketing and expanding its dealership network.

The latest round of financing was led by the investment platform of SAIC Motor and Shanghai State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission. Other investors such as Baidu and Yangtze River Industry Fund also participated in this round of financing.

Freeman Shen, founder and chief executive officer of WM Motor, said this latest fundraiser shows investor confidence in the smart electric vehicle industry as well as WM's long-term strategy and leading technology. 

Shen also said the company hopes to gather 3,000 engineers in the next three to five years and accelerate the pace of implementation of 5G technology, autonomous driving and new-energy vehicle related technologies.

WM Motor's financing represents Shanghai's efforts to further promote the field of electric, intelligent and connected automobiles. This is also the first time for China's biggest automaker SAIC Motor to invest in an electric car startup.

Established in 2015, WM Motor was one of the first electric startups to launch production models. It currently has three sport-utility vehicle models available on the market.

Earlier this month, WM unveiled its smart vehicle plan. It will invest 20 billion yuan in three to five years to build vehicles that better meet the demands of Chinese customers.

Based on figures from the first six months, NIO was the market leader among local auto startups, delivering a total of 14,048 vehicles. Li Auto ranked second with 9,667 units and WM Motor ranked third with 5,772 cars delivered.

During the January-August period this year, WM delivered 11,779 vehicles. In August, it delivered 2,057 vehicles, a jump of 143 percent year on year. 

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