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Nio, Chinese electric auto company, files to go public

17 August 2018

The Shanghai-based carmaker, which counts Asian tech behemoth Tencent Holdings Ltd.as its main backer with a 15.2 percent stake, did not provide a breakdown for how the funds would be used.

Visitors check NIO ES8 displayed during a media preview of the Auto China 2018 motor show in Beijing, China April 25, 2018.

Nio sees itself as a pioneer in the market for premium electric vehicles in China, and for the moment, it's planning to only sell its cars in that country. Despite tensions with China over trade, there have been several large Chinese listings on American stock exchanges this year.

At $1.8 billion, NIO's IPO would also surpass the $1.63 billion float by online group discounter Pinduoduo Inc to become the second-biggest US listing by a Chinese firm this year.

Last November, the company, whose investors also include Hillhouse Capital Group and Sequoia Capital, raised more than $1 billion in its latest fundraising round, led by existing investor Tencent, valuing the firm at about $5 billion.

FILE PHOTO - The logo of electric auto startup NIO is seen at a new NIO House "brand-experience" store, in Beijing, China November 25, 2017.

NIO, founded by William Li and a group of other internet entrepreneurs, started selling its first vehicle, the ES8 SUV, in December, three years after the company was founded. Nio chiefs hope the figures will even out as it delivers more ES8s to customers, although rival electric brand Tesla has proven that achieving this is easier said than done.

While other Chinese automakers, such as Great Wall Motor Co. NIO is sufficiently funded for its operations and mass-production plans, Li said earlier this year. The company had a net loss of $502.6 million on less than $7 million in revenue in the first half of 2018, according to the filing.

NIO mainly plans to use the proceeds to be raised for research and development of products and technology, marketing and developing manufacturing facilities. The Shanghai-based firm listed Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Bofa Merill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Citi, Credit Suisse and UBS as underwriters.

Nio, Chinese electric auto company, files to go public