Chinese EV maker Zeekr goes public in New York

On 10 May, Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., Zeekr’s parent company, announced that the electric vehicle (EV) brand would complete its IPO process one day ahead of schedule and start trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Established in 2021 as a premium Chinese brand, Zeekr has become the quickest EV maker to go public at only 37 months old, beating Tesla as well as fellow Chinese automakers Xpeng, Li Auto and NIO.

Zeekr had previously upsized its IPO. Instead of the earlier plan of selling 17.5 million American Depositary Shares (ADSs) at between 18 and 21 USD per share, it sold 21 million ADSs  at 21 USD apiece, making it 441 million USD total. This brings the fully diluted valuation to 5.5 billion USD, at the higher end of Zeekr’s target. However, this was still lower than its 13 billion USD value after a funding round in February 2023.

This is the first major Chinese listing in the United States since 2021, and also the biggest public listing in the US since Didi’s 4.4 billion IPO in 2021. On Friday morning, the shares of Zeekr Intelligent Technology under the ticker ZK opened nearly 24% above the IPO price, bringing the valuation up to 6.8 billion.

Despite a 20 billion USD loss in 2023, Zeekr’s sales grew 65% and revenue grew 62% year-on-year (YoY) last year. In the first 4 months of 2024, the automaker’s sales reached 49,148 units, growing over 110% YoY. It also had a gross margin of 15%, higher than NIO’s 10% and Xpeng’s -2%. Much of the loss was due to R&D costs and the prospectus confirms that much of the funding would also go into R&D. As Zeekr has launched several new models since the beginning of the year and expanded into Europe and Latin America, the IPO and trading show high expectation the market has for the brand.


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