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Baidu-backed Chinese EV startup WM Motor raises $1.5 billion

·1 min read
WM Motor's founder and CEO Freeman Shen and Vice President of Strategic Planning, Lobo Lu attend the WM Motor brand launch event in Shanghai
WM Motor's founder and CEO Freeman Shen and Vice President of Strategic Planning, Lobo Lu attend the WM Motor brand launch event in Shanghai

BEIJING (Reuters) - Baidu-backed <BIDU.O> Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup WM Motor said on Tuesday it has raised 10 billion yuan ($1.47 billion) in its latest funding round.

As enthusiasm builds for more climate-friendly vehicles, shares of EV makers, including Tesla Inc <TSLA.O> and Nio Inc <NIO.N>, have surged in recent months and auto makers are looking to the markets for funds.

Shanghai-based WM's local rivals Li Auto Inc <LI.O>, Xpeng Inc <XPEV.N> are listed in New York.

Investors in WM's latest funding round include Shanghai's state-owned asset regulator's investment firms and SAIC Motor <600104.SS>. WM did not disclose its valuation after the funding.

The funding will help WM further develop intelligent vehicle technologies and expand sales channels. The company is eyeing a STAR board listing and has started preparing for it, sources familiar with the matter said.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)