SHANGHAI – WM Motor said in a statement on March 8 that it has secured a ¥3 billion financing round led by Baidu and participated by Taihang Industrial Fund and Linear Venture, among others. The latest financing round puts the valuation of the Chinese smart EV startup at more than $5 billion, with cumulative financing reaching nearly ¥23 billion.
The funding will be primarily used for improving customer experience and technology R&D. WM Motor Founder, Chairman & CEO Freeman Shen said in a recent internal letter to employees that the capital raised in the latest financing round will help upgrading in six areas: enterprise, technology, new retail, products, smart manufacturing and new service.
“Both the car and capital markets are experiencing a winter chill, capital will cluster toward the front runners,” said Shen in the letter.
WM Motor, which started deliveries of its EX5 smart electric SUV at the end of September 2018, sold just under 4,000 units last year, but indicated in the statement that it delivered 2,005 EX5s in January 2019, the most among Chinese smart EV startups. By the end of February, the company has signed on 50 retail partners covering close to 50 cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. The EX5 has been delivered to 21 cities and the number of retail partners is expected to double to 100 this year. It has also opened seven Spaces, 20 Stores and 15 Stations, part of its new “4S” retail footprint that also includes Spots.
WM Motor is currently on a path to becoming a data-driven intelligent hardware company from a smart EV popularizer and eventually wants to become a smart mobility ecosystem provider.