Chinese electric vehicle maker Byton revealed that its USD 500 million Series C funding will reach the company soon, 36Kr reported, citing co-founder and CEO Daniel Kirchert.
Kirchert told 36Kr that Byton’s investors include China’s oldest automaker FAW and governmental funds affiliated with Jiangsu province and its capital Nanjing.
The startup’s Series C round was originally scheduled to close by the end of June, but has dragged on since then.
With fundraising progressing more slowly than expected, the startup encountered temporary difficulties, which resulted in layoffs and a failure to repay its debt to suppliers. Reuters reported in April that Carsten Breitfeld, co-founder of Byton, would leave the company as it experienced capital pressure, though Byton told KrASIA that would not be the case. But Breitfeld did end up leaving the company days later, joining another EV maker Iconiq first and later shifting to Faraday Future, serving as its CEO.
Kirchert told 36Kr that Byton will begin its Series D round soon after the Series C round closes. The company aims to fund research and development for its second and third vehicle models.
Byton said on Tuesday that its first EV, the Byton M-Byte, which features a 48-inch screen that spans the dashboard, will be mass produced in mid-2020, half a year later than its original schedule.
Although China’s emerging EV makers have been serving as a driving force behind upgrades in the country’s automobile sector, times are tough as the sector evolves alongside tight competition.
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36Kr is KrASIA’s parent company.