Geely’s EV brand Zeekr raises $500 million in first external funding

Zeekr, the premium electric vehicle brand by Geely, said on Friday it raised $500 million in its first external funding from investors including Intel, battery maker CATL and online entertainment firm Bilibili.

Zeekr said investors would jointly hold a 5.6% stake in the company, valuing it at around $9 billion.

The company makes the Zeekr 001 model in the eastern city of Ningbo and is expected to start delivering them later this year. It aims to sell 650,000 vehicles a year by 2025.

Investors also included Cathy Fortune Corporation, which invests in mining companies, and private-equity firm Boyu Capital that additionally signed long-term investment partnerships with Zeekr, the carmaker said in a statement.

Zeekr is jointly owned by Geely Automobile and its parent Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.

The companies are expected to contribute expertise in intelligent connectivity, batteries, young consumer markets and raw materials, it said.

Car companies globally are working with more tech companies, battery makers and mining firms to develop future products and secure supply of components amid a shift towards electric vehicles (EV).

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, the owner of Volvo Cars and a 9.7% stake in Daimler AG, and Geely Automobile launched the Zeekr in March this year to compete with EV companies including Tesla Inc and Nio Inc. They jointly invested 2 billion yuan ($308.4 million) into the brand earlier.

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