(Yicai Global) April 2 -- Shanghai Youxia Motors Co. has collected CNY5 billion (USD794 million) in B-round financing to accelerate the release of new connected vehicles.
The money takes the firm’s market value to CNY12.2 billion, according to a company statement. Some 12 institutions, including China Environmental Protection Industry Co., joined the round.
The statement is the first time Youxia has disclosed its funding details to the public since it set up shop in 2013. The lack of communication paired with slow development stirred speculation that the company was on the brink of dissolution shortly after it unveiled the Youxia X, an electric car criticized for being a clone of the Tesla Model S, in 2015.
With mass production and new products on the horizon, the prospects for Youxia look promising, said Xie Wenli, president of one of the latest investors Qianhai Wutong Mergers and Acquisitions Funds.
Youxia announced plans last year to build a CNY11.5-billion factory in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, with an annual capacity of 200,000 units a year. Construction is due to start in 2018 and once the plant is ready, the Youxia X will go into mass production. The X is around SAE Level 2 to 3 in terms of autonomous driving. Level 2 requires humans to remain mostly in control of the car, while at Level 3, vehicles can monitor their environment and do a lot of the work, but the driver must be ready to take the wheel when prompted.
The company has been on the up since Wei Jun took over as chairman at the end of 2015. It has made breakthroughs in recruitment, supply chain development and government cooperation, as well securing two funding rounds, the statement added.