China officially has five electric vehicle companies valued at US$1 billion or more, as China Money Network has learned that Byton, an EV start-up rooted in China, is currently seeking a new financing round at a minimum valuation of US$1.2 billion.
Byton, previously known as Future Mobility Corp, last raised around US$200 million at a valuation of US$750 million in August 2017. It is now in advanced talks with a Chinese central government investment institution regarding a round that could be between US$300 million to US$400 million, as part of the company’s plan to raise US$600 million to put its cars on the market, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told China Money Network on the conditions of anonymity.
China is the only country with EV start-ups having achieved the status of unicorn, a term describing private technology companies valued at US$1 billion or more. Byton joins the club with four other companies, including Chinese state-backed car maker Beijing Automotive Group’s (BAIC Group) electric vehicle business unit, BAIC BJEV, as well as venture capital-funded start-ups NIO, WM Motor and Xiaopeng Motors.