Alibaba-backed EV maker Xpeng raises $500 mln


BEIJING/HONG KONG, July 20 (Reuters) - Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer Xpeng Motors, backed by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA.N, said on Monday it has raised around $500 million in the latest funding round.

As enthusiasm builds for more climate-friendly vehicles, the share prices 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.

Xpeng's rival Li Auto earlier this month filed for a U.S. initial public offering.

The investors in Xpeng's C+ funding round include Aspex, Coatue, Hillhouse and Sequoia Capital China, Xpeng said in a statement. It did not disclose the valuation of the six-year-old company.

Xpeng, led by chief executive He Xiaopeng, is making electric G3 sport-utility vehicles and P7 sedans with autonomous driving capabilities in two Chinese plants.

The funding will enable Xpeng to further develop intelligent vehicle technologies. It also plans to have around 200 showrooms in China by the end of this year.

Last November, Xpeng raised $400 million from investors including Xiaomi Corp 1810.HK. Sources told Reuters at the time that investors valued the company at nearly $4 billion.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun in Beijing and Julie Zhu in Hong Kong; editing by Barbara Lewis)

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