Chinese electric vehicle startup Byton is aiming to attract roughly $500 million from its new round of fundraising in a move that could see the company valued at up to $2.5 billion.
Bloomberg reports that the company is currently on the verge of securing $100 million in funding from state-owned China FAW Group Co. It is believed that the two companies will sign an agreement within the coming weeks to confirm the investment.
FAW Group invested $500 million in Byton last year as it looks to revive the Red Flag limousine brand. This initial investment came as part of a move for FAW to cooperate with Byton in product development, manufacturing and sales.
Byton has managed to attract significant investments despite not yet commencing sales of its first model, the M-Byte electric SUV. Current plans call for sales of the M-Byte to kick off in China by the end of the year and in both North America and Europe around mid-2020. According to one of Byton’s founders, Daniel Kirchert, the company may consider an initial public offering after securing new financing and commencing production.
The EV startup took to social media five weeks ago to confirm that it recently concluded its initial round of cold weather testing for the M-Byte in Mongolia. Testing of prototypes in North America is next on the agenda.
The SUV will be sold in both rear- and all-wheel drive configurations. The base model will be powered by a single electric motor driving the rear wheels and delivering 268 hp and 295 lb-ft (400 Nm) of torque, while the all-wheel drive model will have two electric motors, a 95 kWh battery and pump out 469 hp and 523 lb-ft (710 Nm), while offering up a range of up to 323 miles (520 km).