The smart #3 is scheduled to hit the European market in early 2024. (Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn)
Mercedes and Geely joint venture-smart Automobile Co- announced a plan on Friday to raise $250 million to $300 million, as part of its efforts to accelerate its global development.
The electric brand said this series A round will be led by China's Tianqi Lithium, with an investment plan of $150 million. It did not give a specific schedule.
Both Mercedes and Geely support the fundraising effort. They will remain equal controlling shareholders in the brand, adding that they are highly confident in the brand's future development, said smart.
"We are confident this move will allow us to further broaden smart's horizons and strengthen our next-step plans to enhance the competences of smart in global markets," said Tong Xiangbei, global CEO of smart.
There are currently two electric smart models in the market. The smart #1 is available in China, Germany and France, while the smart #3, which hit the Chinese market in early June, is scheduled to enter Europe in early 2024.
In the first half of 2023, smart delivered 23,540 units in China, achieving a leading position in its specific segment. In Europe, the first batch delivery started in March, and the delivery will ramp up to a new level shortly.
The brand said it will continue to pursue its "China-Europe Dual-home Strategy". It will further strengthen its presence in these two major NEV markets, as well as exploring other markets with high-growth potential.