Chinese electric car startup Nio on Tuesday launched an initial public offering, with its filing revealing the company intends to sell 160 million shares priced between $6.25 and $8.25.
Hitting a share price in the upper range would raise $1.3 billion for the company's coffers and see it valued at more than $8 billion. It would make the listing the biggest for a Chinese automaker in the United States.
Nio's shares are expected to price on September 11 and start trading the next day, most likely on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol NIO.
Nio has just introduced its first volume vehicle on the Chinese market in the form of the Tesla Model X-rivaling ES8, but the long-term plan is to offer a full portfolio and this will require serious funding. The next model will be a small SUV called the ES6. It will launch in China by the end of the year.
2018 Nio ES8
Nio has so far delivered less than 500 examples of its ES8 which retails for about $65,000, but the company has orders for 17,000 on its books, it said in a filing made earlier in August. Nio also said at the time that it incurred a net loss of $502.6 million in the first six months of 2018 on revenues of $6.95 million in revenues.
Nio was founded in 2014 by entrepreneur William Li, originally as NextEV. In its most recent round of funding it managed to raise $1 billion from several sources including Chinese tech and investment giant Tencent. The offering has been structured to ensure voting rights remain concentrated with Li and Tencent, who will retain 14.5 percent and 12.9 percent, respectively.
While Nio is currently focused on the Chinese market, it plans to expand elsewhere, including in the United States where it has already established a local division. The company is also working on self-driving technology, which it hopes to have ready at Level 4 capability by around 2020.
Nio is among a growing number of electric car startups either based in China or backed by Chinese interests that have sprung up in recent years. Others with serious backing include names like Byton, Detroit Electric, Faraday Future, Hybrid Kinetic, Lucid, WM Motor Technology and Xpeng.