People inspect one of Chinese electric vehicle start-up Nio's SUVs in Shanghai, China. Picture: REUTERS
People inspect one of Chinese electric vehicle start-up Nio's SUVs in Shanghai, China. Picture: REUTERS

Hong Kong — Nio, the Chinese electric-vehicle start-up backed by Tencent, has filed confidentially for a planned US initial public offering, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Shanghai-based car maker has submitted an initial confidential filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The share sale could raise about $2bn, though the size of the deal may change, the sources said.

Selling shares could give Nio more firepower as it competes with dozens of other electric-vehicle start-ups in the world’s biggest vehicle market.

Share Sales

The company, founded by William Li and other internet entrepreneurs, started selling a sport utility vehicle in December with a price tag of 448,000 yuan ($70,000) before incentives.

US first-time share sales from Chinese companies have raised $3.8bn in 2018, easily on track to surpass the $4bn of deals during all of 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A representative for Nio declined to comment.

Nio also counts Baillie Gifford & Co and Hillhouse Capital among its dozens of investors.

The company is sufficiently funded for its operations and mass production plans, Li said in April.

Nio raised more than $1bn in a new round of funding led by Tencent in November 2017, people familiar the matter said at the time.

Bloomberg