Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup LeapMotor last week applied to list its shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange as it sought additional funding to increase its exposure to the world’s largest EV market.

If the initial public share offering (IPO) is successful, it would become the fourth Chinese EV startup to list its shares in Hong Kong following Li Auto, Nio and XPeng.

Reports suggested LeapMotor, established in 2015, wanted to raise the equivalent of US$1bn from the IPO to fund future R&D, expand production capacity and to step up marketing activities.

LeapMotor IPO documents showed it sold 43,748 vehicles last year, split between three key models – its C11 flagship SUV, the T03 minivan and S01 coupe.

The company generated CNY3.1bn (US$491m) in revenue last year while booking operating losses of CNY2.87m.

In the last three years. the company has generated CNY3.9bn in revenue while incurring an operating loss of CNY4.5bn.

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By GlobalData

Total funding to date was CNY11.5bn with Sequoia Capital, Shanghai Electric, Dahua Technology and CCI Fund among the key investors.

Sales totalled 11,520 vehicles in the first two months of 2022. The company aims to have eight models on sale by the end of 2025 with a fourth, the C01 large sedan, to be released in the second quarter of 2022.