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Tesla's Fierce Competition

Tesla's Fierce Competition
July 14, 2020

It has been a big week for EVs. First, we have a headline-grabbing first-of-its-kind deal with an EV utilizing the SPAC (special purpose acquisition company) structure. Upstart Fisker is expected to go public through a merger with a company backed by private equity firm Apollo Global Management at a combined value of $2.9B. Then, Rivian raises $2.5B on an aggressive plan to beat Tesla and Nikola with the first all-electric pickup, with backers including titans such as Amazon, Fidelity, and Blackrock. 

Meanwhile, Tesla’s Chinese competitors are rapidly ramping up as well. Li Auto has filed an application with the US regulator to offer shares on Nasdaq, making it the second Chinese electric vehicle maker to list on the US stock market after Nio

Beijing-based Li Auto Inc. listed a placeholder amount of $100M for its offering in a Friday filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) without a price range for the shares. Its Li One, with a starting price of RMB 328,000 ($46,870), was top-ranked in sales volume for all medium-to-large fuel-efficient and electric SUVs in the first half of this year, according to figures from China Automotive Technology and Research Center. The second-ranked Lexus RX450h sold 3,219 units, followed by Nio ES8 with deliveries of 2,435 units.

Tesla, with its jaw-dropping ~350x PE ratio, might be up for steep competition ahead. 

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Emerging EV Titans:

Aiways is a Chinese automobile manufacturer of electric cars founded in 2017. Aiways stands for "AI (artificial intelligence) is on the way," and the first 500 units of the all-electric Aiways U5 SUV are on their way to Europe. Their arrival will mark the first batch of Made-in-China EVs to be put on European roads, paving the way for a new level of affordability for long-range electric vehicles. The Aiways factory in Shangrao, China, has an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles. The first batch of 500 battery-powered U5s, which arrive in July, will be put into service by Hertz Corsica as rental vehicles on the Mediterranean island.

Byton is a Chinese all-electric vehicle automotive brand established in 2017, incorporated in Hong Kong, and co-founded by former BMW and Nissan Motor executives. Byton unveiled its first concept car to the public in January 2018. The company is currently running a trial shop at its Nanjing headquarters where drivable prototypes are built. It plans to introduce its M-Byte SUV model first, with the start of production scheduled for late 2019. The SUV will go on sale in China end of 2019, followed by the U.S. and European markets in the second half of 2020.

Lucid Motors, Inc. is an American automotive company specializing in electric cars. It was founded in 2007 and is based in Newark, California. On September 17, 2018, Lucid Motors announced that they were in talks with the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia for funding that values the company at over $1B. The investment was completed in April 2019 and will fund the final engineering and testing of the Lucid Air model, the first-phase construction of its manufacturing plant in Casa Grande, Arizona, the commercial production of the Lucid Air, and its worldwide retail strategy beginning in North America. 

Qualcomm to invest $97M in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms
Qualcomm has become the newest high-profile backer of four-year-old Reliance Jio Platforms, which has raised more than $15.7B in the past 12 weeks from many investors.
[Read more].
Analog Devices to Buy Maxim Integrated for Over $20B
The $20B all-stock deal would be one of the largest merger deals of the year. [Read more].
Since last week, PrivCo has added:
808 Profiles Updates | 113 M&A Deals144 Funding Activities

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Digital health company Carrot Inc. announces that AllegisNL Capital invested in its latest round of financing to accelerate commercialization of its Pivot tobacco cessation program. AllegisNL is backed by one of the largest life insurance companies globally. Carrot is AllegisNL's first investment from its newest fund, focused on globally disruptive companies driving innovation in financial infrastructure, insurance, and digital health. AllegisNL joins Carrot's current investor group, including Khosla Ventures, Johnson and Johnson Development Corporation, New York Life Ventures, Marc Benioff, Valor Equity Partners, R7 Partners and Carrot founder David Utley.

Rivian, the electric vehicle company aiming to become the first to bring an EV pickup truck to market, raises $2.5B in a round led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc.

Real money for RealEats: Company gets $2.8M infusion for expansion.

Beekeeper -- the first communication and operations platform designed specifically for frontline workers -- announces a $10M extension on their series B round today. The extension brings the round's total to $60M.

Inimmune, a Missoula, Mont.-based biotechnology company developing immune therapies and components for more effective vaccines, raises $22M in Series A funding.

Avalara co-founders invest in $2M round for RipeLocker, a startup that aims to keep fruit fresh longer.

Marqeta, the U.S. payment card issuing start-up, is preparing for an IPO, Reuters reports citing sources.

SoftBank-backed Coupang buys Hooq assets to take on Netflix.

The maker of the popular Web browser Opera is set to acquire Fjord Bank in Lithuania as part of a plan to expand more broadly into financial services.

Health Catalyst, Inc., a provider of data and analytics technology and services to healthcare organizations, announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Healthfinch, Inc.

Insurity, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based core system solutions and data analytics for the world’s largest insurers, brokers, and MGAs, announces that it has completed the acquisition of Austin, Texas-based Virtual MGA. The deal, which closely follows the June 22, 2020 acquisition of Epic-Premier, further expands Insurity’s cloud-based core systems offerings for the managing general agent (MGA) and broker markets.

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