Five-year-old Chinese EV player Li Auto filed a prospectus with the SEC yesterday in preparation for its listing on the Nasdaq under the symbol "LI". Once Li Auto goes public, it will become the second Chinese smart electric car company to go public in the U.S. after Nio.
According to Li Auto's prospectus, before the IPO, Li Xiang, the founder of Li Auto, held 25.1 percent shares with 70.3percent voting rights. Food delivery giant Meituan Dianping CEO Wang Xing personally holds 8.9 percent of the shares and has 3.5 percent of the voting rights.
Meituan Dianping's Inspired Elite holds a stake of 14.5 percent with 5.8 percent of the voting rights.
Yanan Shen holds 1.1 percent of the shares and has 0.4 percent of the voting rights, while Tie Li holds 1 percent of the shares and has 0.4 percent of the voting rights. Rainbow Six Limited holds 6.1 percent of the shares and has 2.4 percent of the voting rights.
The prospectus indicates that Wang Xing holds 23.5 percent of the shares and has 9.3 percent of the voting rights. But in fact, that includes both his personal shareholding and Meituan Dianping's shareholding.
In August 2019, Li Auto announced the closing of a $530 million Series C round with a post-investment valuation of approximately $2.93 billion, Wang Xing personally invested $300 million to lead the investment and Li Xiang personally invested $100 million.
In June 2020, Li Auto raised $550 million in Series D funding. Meituan Dianping led a $500 million investment, and $30 million was raised from Li Xiang with a post-investment valuation of $4.05 billion.
In July 2020, Li Auto and Inspired Elite, a shareholder of Series D preferred stock, signed an Investor Rights Agreement. Meituan Dianping shareholders were provided for certain special rights, including the right to remove and replace a director.
Wang Xing had explained on 3 July 2020 his views on the electric vehicle sector:
In retrospect, I fall into the hindsight category for the smart electric car boom. I bought a Tesla Model S in 2016, and I've been using it and thinking it was pretty good, but I didn't think more deeply about what it meant until last year.
On July 3, 2019, Wang Xing quoted George Soros as saying, "There is no point in being confident and having a small position."
Wang Xing played a key role in the development of Li Auto.
Nio, Xpeng, and WM Motor were the only major players in China's new energy vehicle sector, but Meituan Dianping's $800 million backings not only saved Li Auto but also made it possible for the company to become a major player in the industry.