LeEco, a Chinese internet major that was founded in 2004, started asa video-streaming service provider like the US-based Netflix Inc.. Soon, it rapidly grew into a heavyweight with a presence in smartphones, TVs and most recently electronic cars.
After fetching quite a name in the mobile market, LeEco has taken a step to emerge in its electric car sector by introducing its own electric car division Super Electric Ecosystem Plan (SEE Plan). Earlier in the year, this division has showcased its EV concept, LeSEE, featuring groundbreaking, fully autonomous capabilities, including machine learning of facial, emotion, system and path recognition.
Said car is expected to be available for public within the next three years. With regards to this, last month the company had announced that it would invest 20 billion yuan ($3.02 billion) to build an electric car plant in Zhejiang province with eventual annual production capacity of 400,000 units. In a recent interview with China Daily, Jia Yueting, founder and chief executive officer of LeEco, said that the plant could be put into operations as early as in Spring 2017 and he said that the company’s electric cars were expected to go into mass production within three years.
LeEco’s technology is expected to be so great that it could compete with US-based Tesla Motors Inc.’s high-end electric cars. Said company even declared in April that it would bring in the Model 3 car, which is all geared up to be launched at the end of 2017, in India, South Africa, New Zealand, Singapore, Brazil, South Korea and Ireland which comparatively has a lower cost rate.
For LeEco to be able to produce this supercar they would need a huge funding, and on Tuesday, the company has announced that they have completed the first round of fundraising with investment from several Chinese companies, including Legend Holdings Corp., Yingda Capital Management Co., China Minsheng Trust, Shenzen Capital Group, Macrolink Group, and Hongzhao Fund. The total fund raised in this project is $1.08 billion.
According to Zhang Yu, managing director of Automotive Foresight Co., “The $1.08 billion can support the production of tens of thousands units of cars a year.”
This amount is huge, but it is still far from LeEco’s $7.9 billion requirement to be invested in the development and production of the supercar between 2016 and 2022, according to the company’s proposal pitched to potential investors.
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