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Mobility tech firm ECARX makes Nasdaq debut

By MINLU ZHANG in New York | China Daily Global | Updated: 2022-12-22 11:09
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The management, shareholders and guests of ECARX Holdings attend a ceremony to ring the opening bell at Nasdaq in New York City, the United States, on Dec 21, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

ECARX Holdings Inc, a global mobility tech company, rang the Nasdaq opening bell in New York City on Wednesday to celebrate the start of it trading as a publicly listed company.

ECARX became the first Chinese automobile smart technology startup listed on the US stock market. The company went public through their business combination with COVA Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company in a deal that values the automobile technology company at $3.82 billion.

"The close of this transaction and subsequent listing on Nasdaq represent a proud moment for the entire ECARX team, and I thank all of them for their hard work," said Ziyu Shen, chairman and CEO of ECARX.

"The global automotive industry is experiencing the fastest transformation in its history, and ECARX is uniquely positioned to continue capturing share within this rapidly growing market," said Shen.

"The solid foundation we have built over the last five years strongly positions us for future growth, both expanding our relationship with existing partners and reaching new global brands as we expand internationally. I am excited to embark on the next phase of our journey as a public company," he said.

The public offering will raise an estimated $368 million after expenses, and existing shareholders will retain 89 percent ownership in the combined company, ECARX said in an investors' presentation in November.

ECARX, which has about 2,000 employees, recorded $415 million in revenue in 2021, and its technology has been integrated into more than 3.7 million cars.

Founded in 2017, the company focuses on technology used in smart vehicles such as automotive computing platforms; its products include infotainment head units, digital cockpits, vehicle chipset solutions, a core operating system and integrated software stack.

The company's computer technology is used in brands such as Volvo, Polestar, Lynk & Co, and Lotus in Europe, as well as Chinese brands such as Zeekr and Geely, and it has a joint venture with Mercedes-Benz. Twelve brand uses its products.

The company is co-founded by Shen and Eric Li, who is also the founder and chairman of Geely, one of the world's largest automotive groups, which holds ownership interest and investment in multiple international brands.

"China is now the fastest growing market for electric vehicles. Our technology —our vehicle computing system and software — allows us to win the times, and more and more companies like ECARX will go international," Shen told China Daily at the bell-ringing ceremony on Wednesday.

"China's electric vehicles have begun to lead the world," Shen said. "In the future, every car may be an electric car, and every car needs powerful software and computer systems. This will bring huge opportunities to automobile smart technology companies."

Eric Li, the largest shareholder of ECARX, said the company began independently when he and Shen "shared a vision to drive rapid evolution of the automotive industry by creating the software and hardware needed to transform cars into fully connected computers on wheels".

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