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Baidu-backed Chinese EV startup WM Motor raises $1.5 billion - Metro US

Baidu-backed Chinese EV startup WM Motor raises $1.5 billion

WM Motor's founder and CEO Freeman Shen and Vice President of Strategic Planning, Lobo Lu attend the WM Motor brand launch event in Shanghai

BEIJING (Reuters) – Baidu-backed <BIDU.O> Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup WM Motor said on Tuesday it has raised 10 billion yuan ($1.47 billion) in its latest funding round.

As enthusiasm builds for more climate-friendly vehicles, shares 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.

Shanghai-based WM’s local rivals Li Auto Inc <LI.O>, Xpeng Inc <XPEV.N> are listed in New York.

Investors in WM’s latest funding round include Shanghai’s state-owned asset regulator’s investment firms and SAIC Motor <600104.SS>. WM did not disclose its valuation after the funding.

The funding will help WM further develop intelligent vehicle technologies and expand sales channels. The company is eyeing a STAR board listing and has started preparing for it, sources familiar with the matter said.

(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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