Chinese Electric-Car Startup Nio Files For $1.8 Billion U.S. IPO

Deliveries of the ES8 SUV began in June. Nio claims it has 17,000 bookings for the ES8

The company applied to list its American depositary shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NIO, and the US$1.8 billion registration amount is a placeholder to calculate filing fees. In its last round of funding it managed to raise $1 billion from several sources including Chinese investment giant Tencent.

Nio was founded in 2014 by entrepreneur William Li, originally as NextEV.

The $1.8 billion raised will be used in areas of research and development of products, services and technologies; sales and marketing and development of sales channels including NIO Houses; production facility development and supply chain launch, as well as use and working capital.

In June, it began customer deliveries of its ES8 pure-electric, seven-seat sport-utility vehicle, which the company sees as a rival to Tesla's Model X. It also plans to launch a second, lower-priced electric sport-utility vehicle, the ES6, by the end of this year.

At $1.8 billion, NIO's IPO would also surpass the $1.63 billion float by online group discounter Pinduoduo Inc to become the second-biggest USA listing by a Chinese firm this year.

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FILE PHOTO - The logo of electric auto startup NIO is seen at a new NIO House "brand-experience" store, in Beijing, China November 25, 2017. The billionaire has said he plans to take the money-losing company private at US$420 a share, valuing Tesla at US$82 billion.

The EV maker counts Baillie Gifford & Co and Hillhouse Capital among its investors.

The IPO is being led by Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and UBS Group. NIO is sufficiently funded for its operations and mass-production plans, Li said earlier this year.

In its prospectus, Nio said during the first six months of 2018 its revenue totaled 45.99 million yuan ($6.68 million), among which revenue from auto sales stood at 44.39 million yuan.

As of July 31, Nio had delivered 481 ES8 vehicles and had "unfulfilled reservations for more than 17,000" more for which people had put down deposits, the filing says.

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