Two-year-old Zeekr raises $750M at $13B valuation • TechCrunch
At a time when venture capital funding is slowing in China, EV is one of the few sectors that are still keeping investors excited. Case in point, Zeekr, the luxury electric vehicle brand of China’s largest private carmaker Geely, announced Monday that investors have committed to investing $750 million in its Series A funding round. Its post-money valuation has shot up to $13 billion.
The news comes just two months after Zeekr said it had confidentially filed for an initial public offering in the U.S. At the time, Reuters reported that the electric carmaker was seeking over $1 billion in proceeds at a valuation of more than $10 billion. TechCrunch has reached out to Zeekr regarding its IPO status.
Investors who have agreed to back Zeekr in its Series A include a few heavyweights like Mobileye’s founder and CEO Amnon Shashua, Chinese battery giant and Tesla supplier Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL), China’s state-owned Yuexiu Industrial Fund, Tongshang Fund and Xin’an Intelligent Manufacturing Fund, another Chinese state-owned investment vehicle.
Proceeds from the raise will support Zeekr’s technology research and global expansion. Indeed, the firm has been aggressively ramping up its international footprint. In January, my colleague Kirsten wrote that the company had some 3,000 open positions in more than 30 cities around the world, including at its R&D center in Ningbo and Shanghai in China, and Gothenburg, Sweden. The young carmaker was also opening an office in Silicon Valley.
Founded in March 2021, Zeekr landed its first external funding round in August of that year. The investment totaled $500 million from a list of strategic investors, including Intel Capital, Intel’s corporate VC arm, CATL, Chinese user-generated video site Bilibili, Chinese private equity fund Cathay Fortune Group, of which founder Yu Yong’s holding company is a major shareholder in CATL, and storied Chinese private equity firm Boyu Capital, an investor in Ant Group.