Electric-car startup Byton secures $500 million in new funding to further mass production, R&D and product development
We covered Byton back in January when the startup unveiled its electric SUV concept at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Today the Chinese electric startup announced it has concluded its successful Series-B fundraising round, attracting a total of $500 million from multiple major investors that include FAW Group, Tus-Holdings, CATL, and more. The latest funding round will enable Byton with a strong financial position for continued progress in mass production, R&D and product development.
Byton unveiled its most futuristic electric SUV, in what the company refers to as “an electric intelligent SUV,” with a starting price at just $45,000. The all-electric SUV gets a range up to 323 miles per charge, is planned to hit the Chinese market next year before arriving to the US and Europe in 2020. Byton aims to create a premium brand rooted in China that has a global reach. Its global headquarters, intelligent manufacturing base and R&D center are located in Nanjing, China, while its North American headquarters, devoted to intelligent car experience, autonomous driving, whole vehicle integration and other cutting-edge technologies, is based in the Silicon Valley. The company’s vehicle concept and design center is located in Munich, Germany. Byton also has offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong to handle external affairs, marketing, sales, design and investor relations.
“The success of this funding round highlights how diversified strategic investors will further expand Byton’s circle of friends and broaden our development opportunities,” said Dr. Daniel Kirchert, president and co-founder, Byton. “BYTON is establishing a new benchmark for auto start-ups with four essential ‘must haves’, namely Technology, Product, Capital and Factory.”
Byton today also officially opened its global headquarters in Nanjing, China, forming a global operation centered in Nanjing, with an R&D center in Silicon Valley and a design center in Munich, Germany. In addition, the construction of Byton ‘s smart manufacturing base in Nanjing is proceeding steadily. The company’s first batch of prototype models is set to roll out in April 2019 for testing, with the pilot production program starting in the first half of 2019, and Q4 as the target timing for the first mass production model to be launched into market.
“As a world leader in smart mobility, we aim to build Byton into a global premium brand with ‘China Root, Global Reach’ as the core of our development strategy,” said Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, CEO and co-founder, Byton. “By combining our expertise in R&D and traditional car-making with innovative Internet technologies, we aspire to pioneer a smart mobility revolution.”
Nanjing, China has evolved to become a regional center of excellence for the development of smart manufacturing, with Byton’s global headquarters introducing top-line international and domestic suppliers and partners to Nanjing. Byton’s strategy to optimize its global supply chain will also reinforce Nanjing’s development as an eco-friendly, smart and high-end whole-automobile industry chain.
“The opening of our global headquarters in Nanjing is just the latest in the comprehensive advancement of Byton’s R&D, production, and operations,” added Dr. Kirchert. “At the same time, with further acceleration in developing the Byton value chain for smart mobility, we will contribute to the formation of a smart industry cluster in Nanjing.”