Neta & Avatr attract new investment in China
Two Chinese electric car brands have raised significant amounts of fresh capital. The Neta brand recently closed a crossover financing round of 7 billion yuan (around 881 million euros). Avatr, for its part, raised 3 billion yuan (378 million euros).
Little is known about the crossover financing round for the Neta brand, which belongs to Hozon Auto. The China-based portal CN EV Post reports that the investors are not mentioned by name. It therefore remains unclear where the 7 billion yuan mentioned came from. Since so-called crossover financing rounds are often the last rounds before an IPO, an IPO could be imminent for Neta. Bloomberg, among others, reported as early as 2021 that the brand founded in 2014 was to be floated on the Hong Kong stock exchange. However, this was never officially confirmed by Neta or Hozon Auto.
Neta is currently pushing ahead with its internationalisation: in spring, the EV manufacturer started building its first production facility outside China. The factory is being built in the Thai capital Bangkok and is scheduled to go into operation at the end of January 2024. In January 2023, it was also announced that Neta will use the skateboard platform of shareholder CATL.
Neta’s sales figures recently declined, with the company delivering 10,039 vehicles in July, down 28 per cent from 14,037 in the same month last year and down 17 per cent from 12,132 in June. In the January-July 2023 period, Neta handed over a total of 72,456 vehicles, down 6.11 per cent year-on-year.
Changan and CATL’s joint venture Avatr has raised 3 billion yuan (378 million euros) from investors in a Series B funding round, according to the CN EV Post, valuing it now at nearly 20 billion yuan (2.52 billion euros). Avatr wants to use the fresh capital to push ahead with its international expansion.
Avatr is also currently preparing the launch of its second model. The five-metre-long electric sedan, called Avatr 12, follows the coupe-like electric SUV Avatr 11, which was launched in August 2022. The electric motors are supplied by Huawei. According to a report by CarNewsChina this July, the Avatr 12 is based on the same 750-volt platform as the debut model Avatr 11 – and also shares its drive components. In this respect, the sedan is also likely to come to market with two battery options – 90.4 kWh and 116.8 kWh.
Incidentally, the Avatr brand was originally founded in 2018 by Changan and Nio, at the time still under the name ‘Changan Nio’. However, according to an earlier report by the portal CN EV Post, development went bumpy and Nio later “basically exited the joint venture with new financing”. Currently, Changan holds 40.99% of the shares and CATL 17.1%. The rest is owned by various investment funds. Huawei does not hold any shares, but supplies software, electric motors and other parts.