(Bloomberg) -- Electric-vehicle maker Xpeng Motors raised about $500 million from a group of venture investors, showing Chinese startups with promising car models can attract funding even as the industry’s sales slump.
Investors in the Series C+ financing round include Aspex Management, Sequoia Capital China, Hillhouse Capital and Coatue Management, Xpeng said Monday in a statement. The fundraising follows a $400 million round in November.
Xpeng is increasing its chances of staying a viable contender in the world’s largest electric-car market, where it competes with sales leader Tesla Inc., local peers such as NIO Inc. and such global rivals as BMW AG and Mercedes-Benz maker Daimler AG. Though industry sales have been sputtering since the government scaled back subsidies last year, the market is in its early stages.
Other aspiring EV makers, such as Byton Ltd., have run into funding problems and wound down operations this year amid the market slump, which was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. Sales of new-energy vehicles, including electric cars, fell 35% to 85,600 units last month, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
Meanwhile, competition is getting tougher, with the number of new Tesla registrations rising to a record last month and BMW and Mercedes bringing out EV models.
Xpeng delivered 5,185 units of its first vehicle, the G3 SUV, in the first half. It started deliveries of its second model, the P7 sedan, last week. One P7 variant available in September has a range of up to 706 kilometers (439 miles) on one charge and costs about 254,900 yuan ($36,000) after subsidies, significantly less than competing Tesla and NIO models.
Backers of Xpeng, which was founded in 2015, also include e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Xiaomi Corp.
(Updates with Xpeng models in sixth paragraph.)
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