Robot vacuum maker Roborock founder's car-making project reportedly gets Tencent investment and rejects NIO Capital - CnEVPost

Robot vacuum maker Roborock founder's car-making project reportedly gets Tencent investment and rejects NIO Capital

Rox Motor received $100 million in financing in late 2021, with Tencent's investment amounting to more than $50 million, according to local media.

Robot vacuum maker Roborock founder's car-making project reportedly gets Tencent investment and rejects NIO Capital-CnEVPost

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Xiaomi ecosystem company and robot vacuum maker Roborock founder and CEO Chang Jing's car-making project Rox Motor received $100 million in financing led by Tencent in late 2021, 36kr reported today.

Tencent's investment amounted to more than $50 million, and Sequoia Capital also participated in the round, the report said, adding that the project is in the midst of a new round of funding at a $2 billion valuation.

Tencent is NIO's second-largest shareholder, holding all of the EV maker's Class B shares, and has voting power in NIO after founder William Li, the report noted.

Rox Motor has raised alarms among others following its latest funding, with some investors saying that NIO's venture capital arm, NIO Capital, and people at Meituan both wanted to approach it to negotiate an investment but were declined, according to the report.

"Maybe in Chang's eyes, NIO Capital means NIO and Meituan means Li Auto," the source said.

Roborock is the star company in the Xiaomi ecosystem, with its main business in smart cleaning hardware such as floor sweepers.

Roborock went public on China's Nasdaq-style sci-tech innovation board, also known as the STAR market, in February 2020.

The company's share price had risen to an all-time high of RMB 1,494.99 at the end of June 2021 and currently stands at RMB 886.01, with a market capitalization of about RMB 59.2 billion.

Rox Motor's operating entity, Shanghai Rox Smart Technology Co Ltd, was registered on January 8, 2021 with a registered capital of RMB 12.5 million. Its legal representative is Chang, who holds 40 percent of the shares, and Rox (HK) Holdings Limited, which holds 20 percent, according to information on data provider Qichacha.

Currently Rox Motor is headquartered in Shanghai with Chang as chairman and Yan Feng, the former WM Motor CTO, has joined the company as CEO, according to 36kr.

In April last year, local media reported that, like Li Auto, the company's first car chose the extended-range technology route, with initial product positioning as a hardcore off-road model similar to the Mercedes-Benz G series.

Phate Zhang/CnEVPost: Phate is the founder and main author of CnEVPost. He has been reporting since 2009, mainly on macroeconomics and capital markets. Contact via: [email protected]
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