Zeekr, a Geely’s EV spinoff, raises $750M in funding at a $13 billion valuation to fuel global expansion
In April 2021, China’s auto giant Geely Automobile and its parent company Zhejiang Geely Holding Group announced the launch of a high-end Zeekr electric-vehicle brand aimed at younger buyers. Then in August of last year, Zeekr raised $500 million in its first external funding from high-profile investors that included online entertainment firm Bilibili, battery maker CATL, and Intel Capital.
Fast forward six months later, Zeekr just raised a massive $750 million in new funding from new and existing investors that brings the two-year-old EV startup valuation to $13 billion. Backers for this round include Amnon Shashua, CEO and founder of autonomous driving technology company Mobileye Global, and the Guangzhou city municipal government’s investment arm Yuexiu Industrial Fund, both new investors in the company.
Additional backers include existing investor Chinese battery maker CATL. Zeekr will use the fresh capital infusion to support technology research and accelerate its global expansion, the company said in a statement on Monday.
Zeekr, which currently has two full electric car models, released its first electric car, Zeekr 001, in China in October 2021. The company said it plans to release Zeekr 001 in Europe in 2023.
Zeekr is just one of the many brands owned by the Geely Group. In addition, the Geely group also owns other brands such as Polestar, Volvo Car, Lynk & CO, Lotus, London Electric Vehicle Company, and Geometry. Geely also owns Lotus Technology, a tech startup that spun out of British sports car maker Lotus. We covered Lotus last year after raising new funding at a $4.5 billion valuation.
In addition to Zeekr, Geely recently unveiled a new electric semi-truck called the Homtruck as global automakers look to bring new technology to the commercial vehicles market. Developed by Geely’s commercial vehicle group, Farizon Auto, the company said it’s planning to roll out the vehicles in 2024 and is targeting international markets too.