Lixiang Plans IPO at Value of USD 500 Million in U.S.
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Lixiang electric sport utility vehicle. Image credit: Lixiang website

Electric vehicle manufacturer Lixiang was said to launch IPO filing already and should be able to go public in the U.S. as early as next year at a valuation of USD 500 million.

Lixiang, formerly known as CHJ Automotive and founded in 2015, is a Beijing-based electric startup that plans to disrupt the transportation and auto industries through complete vertical integration. It offers mobility services based on a few models of electric vehicles: it provides a smart car for intra-city trips and a large electric sport utility vehicle for long-haul inter-city journeys. It also operates car rental and ride-hailing services.

Lixiang embarked on overseas IPO filing after it completed its Series C round of funding on August 16, propelling its valuation to USD 2.93 billion. The deal was led by Wang Xing (王兴), founder and CEO of O2O lifestyle service platform Meituan-Dianping, who solely infused USD 300 million in this round. Chinese internet unicorn ByteDance followed suit with USD 30 million cash injected into Lixiang. Existing shareholders Matrix Partners China, Bluerun Ventures and Future Capital continued to participate in fundraising. The EV maker's founder Lixiang also poured USD 100 million into his company.

On August 17, Lixiang’s second-largest shareholder LEO Group, behind the founder Lixiang, disclosed in its statement that Lixiang would set up a VIE (Variable Interest Entity) structure and conduct corporate restructuring accordingly. All shareholders would indirectly hold Lixiang’s equity through possessing shares of Leading Ideal Inc. that is registered in Cayman. Like most U.S. listed Chinese companies, the actual to-be-listed company of Lixiang is a Cayman Island corporation.

Due to corporate restructuring, a state-owned shareholder transferred all its stakes (0.91%) in the company at a price of USD 1.17 million.

The latest valuation of Lixiang after funding surged close to the market capitalization of NIO, a leading Chinese EV maker who is valued at approximately USD 3.2 billion. Ever since being listed on NYSE, NIO has been hit by several stock slumps, which saw almost 70% pared off its share value in the three months. As of September 10, NIO’s share price declined to USD 3.14, around half of its issue price at USD 6.26 per share.

According to a statement published, Lixiang realized revenues of USD 24 million in 2018, with losses of USD 101 million. Over the course of first half of this year, revenues reached USD 743 thousand while losses exceeded USD 89 million. Up to June 30, total assets of the company were valued at USD 822 million with USD 131-million debts on book.

The EV maker released its first EV model in October last year. It is expected that the model will reach mass production in October and begin delivery in November.

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