IM Motors raises $1.1 bln in one of China EV brands’ biggest recent deals

BEIJING, (Reuters) – IM Motors, a premium electric vehicle brand of state-owned Chinese automaker SAIC, said on Friday it has raised more than 8 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) to work on new smart car models and technologies.

IM Motors’ Series B round of equity financing was among the biggest investments into Chinese EV brands in the past two years, following Abu Dhabi-based CYVN’s combined $3 billion investments into NIO and Stellantis’ $1.6 billion purchase of a 21% stake in Leapmotor.

IM Motors, co-founded by SAIC, Alibaba and Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park Development in 2020, said the new funding will also be used to support its overseas expansion.

SAIC has said it plans to export IM Motors’ cars to overseas markets including Europe this year.

State-backed investors in IM Motors’ new capital raise included Bank of China’s asset management unit, an investment arm of Agricultural Bank of China, and Shanghai government-backed Lingang Group, IM Motors said in a statement.

IM Motors said Chinese battery giant CATL, autonomous driving startup Momenta, and SAIC-invested battery firm QingTao Energy Development contributed to the new capital raise.

($1 = 7.1987 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Roxanne Liu, Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and Emelia Sithole-Matarise