Geely’s Zeekr brand raises $750 million in a funding round that is valued to be at $13 billion. It is from five new and existing investors. Zeekr sells purely electric car models and the proceeds from the funding round will be used for the brand’s technology research and global expansion.
The investors include Amnon Shashua, CEO and founder of autonomous driving technology company Mobileye Global – majority owned by Intel Corp- and the Guangzhou city municipal government’s investment arm Yuexiu Industrial Fund, both new investors in the company. The new $13 billion valuation makes Zeekr worth more on paper than Xpeng, which had a market value of $8.01 billion, according to Refinitiv Eikon data accessed Monday. Nio and Li Auto are worth much more, with market valuations of $17.22 billion and $25.22 billion, respectively, the data showed. Zeekr said its new investors include Amnon Shashua, co-founder and CEO of self-driving tech company Mobileye. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and three state-affiliated funds also participated in the latest funding round, according to a press release. Zeekr said it intends to use the funds for tech development and plans to enter the European market this year.
Geely established the Zeekr electric vehicle brand in 2021. The company began delivering its Zeekr 001 coupe that October, and claims to have delivered more than 80,000 units since. The Zeekr 001 is priced between 300,000 yuan ($43,915) and 386,000 yuan. For a rough comparison, Tesla’s Model Y starts at 261,900 yuan. The much larger and boxy multi-purpose vehicle Zeekr 009 began deliveries in January, the company said. Prices start at 499,000 yuan. In 2010, China-based Geely acquired the Swedish auto brand Volvo, which previously belonged to Ford Motor.
By sales in China, Geely was the fourth-largest manufacturer of new energy vehicle passenger cars in 2022, behind Tesla China, which was in third place, according to the China Passenger Car Association. “The Series-A fundraising is a vote of confidence in the growth prospects and strong future of Zeekr, which becomes the latest brand in the Geely Holding portfolio to secure a strong valuation,” said Daniel Donghui Li, chief executive of Geely Holding Group.