China's electric car startup XPeng valued at 25 billion yuan in latest fundraising

HONG KONG (Reuters) - China’s Xpeng Motors raised 4 billion yuan ($587 million) in its latest fundraising round, valuing the electric car startup at nearly 25 billion yuan, it said on Thursday.

China-based private equity firm Primavera Capital Group led the fundraising with venture capital investor Morningside Venture Capital and Xiaopeng He, Xpeng’s chairman and chief executive officer, the company said.

Hillhouse Capital Group, which is currently finalizing a new private equity fund that could become one of the biggest in the region, also participated in the fundraising.

Xpeng has raised more than 10 billion yuan from investors so far, the company said, including the fundraising round in January led by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Foxconn Technology Co Ltd. Alibaba had also participated in an earlier round in December.

Xpeng, which showcased its electric car in Las Vegas in January, is one of several Chinese startups looking to speed up development of battery-powered technology and compete with global leaders including Tesla Inc.

China’s new energy vehicle sales are expected to grow by 40 percent in 2018, according to an industry body, after the country’s traditional automotive market slowed sharply in 2017.

Xpeng expects its first vehicle, the “G3”, to hit the market this year. It also plans to build 150 super charging stations across the country and set up stores in first-tier cities.

Other investors in the latest fundraising round include K11, the investment arm of Hong Kong entrepreneur Adrian Cheng’s K11 brand, and Eastern Bell Venture Capital.

Reporting by Kane Wu; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri