LeEco is striding forward on its mission to put its electric LeSee “supercar” on roads within three years through securing over $1 billion in funding.
LeEco chief executive and founder Jia Yueting said a financing round generated $1.08 billion. It was “the largest in the automobile industry,” according to Yueting as reported in the South China Morning Post.
Investors include Legend Holdings, Shenzhen Capital Group, State Grid Yingda Group, China Minsheng Trust and Macrolink Group. Individual funding amounts were not disclosed.
“We are bullish on the autonomous driving and electric vehicle industry – it will be the next big thing in China,” said Liu Gang, Shenzhen Capital Group’s general manager for northern China. “LeEco’s LeSee car will see innovation within an ecosystem, with a revolutionary business model, technology, branding and capital operation. The company is leading the way down this path.”
LeEco, previously known as LeTV, is considered to be a technology giant in China with a strong presence in the smart TV and smartphone markets. The company said that the LeSee all-electric concept supercar unveiled in April will also have autonomous vehicle capabilities.
Last month, the company announced it will be investing about $1.8 billion to build a plant in China capable of producing 400,000 electric cars per year. LeEco founder Jia Yueting has also invested in the Faraday Future plant being built near Las Vegas.
Some analysts in China view LeEco’s ambitious plan for the LeSee to rival Tesla as a long shot. Zhang Yu, managing director of Automotive Foresight, thinks that LeEco’s claims are a bit premature, given that LeSee is still a concept car.
“Luxury buyers in China are extremely picky, because cars are an indicator of social status. LeSee has no reputation in the luxury car market,” Zhang said. “On the other hand, Tesla is still able to sell vehicles in China because it is associated with Elon Musk, a celebrated figure in the technology world.”