The Chinese electric car startup Byton is about to complete a 500 million dollar financing round, which will be led by China’s state-owned car manufacturer FAW with approximately 100 million dollars.
According to Bloomberg, the information comes from insiders familiar with the situation. FAW had already invested around 260 million dollars in Byton last year. The value of the start-up, which confirmed the departure of co-founder Carsten Breitfeld in the middle of last month, is expected to rise to 2.5 billion dollars after the latest round of financing. Neither Byton nor FAW, however, have made an official statement.
Byton’s business is quickly summarized: They have a factory in Nanjing and plans to sell their debut BEV M-Byte in China by the end of the year. Sales in North America and Europe are also scheduled to start in mid-2020. It is still unclear whether Byton will venture to go public after the financing round has been concluded.
Meanwhile, Byton has been in close contact with FAW for some time. In October 2018, the electric car company took over the weakening FAW subsidiary Tianjin Huali and thus secured a production license for the serial production of electric cars in China. Half a year earlier, FAW had already pumped around 260 million dollars into Byton, among other things, in order to trim its own Hongqi brand more in the direction of electromobility with the help of Byton’s technology. At the same time, the two companies also agreed on intensive cooperation for the procurement of parts and in research and development for autonomous vehicles.