Investments of more than $110 million by Korean auto giants Hyundai and Kia has propelled the British electric vehicles making startup Arrival to become the most valuable startup of Britain.
A spokesperson for the company said that Arrival was valued at €3 billion ($3.4 billion) after the infusion of €100 million ($112 million). This investment will help advance the collaboration between the three companies.
The London based Arrival was formed just five years ago and currently it has more than 800 employees spread across five countries including the United States, Germany and Russia.
The aim of Arrival is to develop and manufacture electric vehicles which would cost about the same as the price of traditional models that are powered by fossil fuels. The design and manufacturing processes followed by the company is its innovative USP.
“Microfactories” are used for manufacturing the electric vehicles once the engineers of the company complete the design of the vehicles. There are two manufacturing units of the company in the United Kingdom. The company aims to launch its first vehicle later this year.
Eventually there are plans for expansion to the United States, Asia and elsewhere in Europe, the company has said.
A modular “skateboard” platform – which can be used for manufacturing of a range of models on one system, is used by the company. Big investments in a similar production platform have been made by Volkswagen, the largest car manufacturer of the world.
Trials with delivery providers such as DHL, UPS and Royal Mail are already being made by a boxy delivery van, which is one of the prototypes of one Arrival vehicle.
Arrival has been catapulted into the top ranks of British startups because of the investment from Hyundai and its Kia subsidiary. There are only five other startups in the UK that are valued over $3 billion, according to the latest research from CB insights.
“This investment is part of an open innovation strategy pursued by Hyundai and Kia,” Youngcho Chi, Hyundai’s president and chief innovation officer, said in a statement.
In recent years, investments worth billions have been made in the development of electric vehicles by the established global auto companies because of the ever increasing stringent emissions norms that are being imposed in many markets including China, the United States and Europe.
Over the next decade, 60 new electrified models would be rolled out by Volkswagen. And according to the plans of the Japanese auto maker Toyota, about half of its total sales will be accounted for by electric vehicles by 2025. Last year, a pledge to make an investment of $35 billion for the development of self-driving technology and electric vehicles was announced by South Korean auto company Hyundai. The company plans to launch 23 models of electric vehicles by 2025.
This investment is the latest that analysts believe that will provide some momentum to the British tech sector as well.
(Adapted from CNN.com)