On July 30, 2020, Future Capital celebrates our angel investment, Li Auto (Ticker: LI)’s successful public listing on Nasdaq. This is an incredible milestone amidst the current global economic environment.
As Li Auto’s first investor, what I saw was the practicality of Li Auto’s product strategy. From Day 0, Li Auto made a bold decision to focus on extended-range electric vehicles (EREVs) rather than pure electric models, which was the common strategy adopted by peers. Pure battery electric vehicles face structural challenges currently with limited battery capacity such as charging infrastructure, consumer habits etc. Li Auto dared to blaze a different trail and became the first in China to successfully commercialize EREVs, solving for these challenges.
I would like to thank product managers who, like Li Auto’s team, are bold enough to be different. It is through their unwavering dedication to their products that our lives are made better.
As a venture capitalist, I tell my team that we must also think like entrepreneurs; we must have resolve in our independent analysis and be daring to back those that are different.
Today is not only a celebration of a capital markets milestone but also a mark of progress. I believe that Li Auto’s range extension solution will accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles in China. To me, accelerated adoption in the world’s most populous country has ramifications beyond just the financial; it is also an important step towards a greener world, a reinvention of how we think about mobility and perhaps an altogether different future cityscape.
When Henry Ford began producing automobiles that were within the economic reach of the average consumer, he changed the course of human mobility as well as how our cities were laid out – streets around the world were re-purposed for driving vehicles. By accelerating adoption of smart electric vehicles, what will future cities look like?
Apple’s release of the first smartphone extended a mobile device’s role beyond a mere calling machine and shaped the course of human communication. Progress in smart vehicles will extend a car’s role beyond mere transportation. Li Auto’s top priority is to lead in autonomous driving technologies and to contribute to building an ecosystem for EVs that would propel the future of e-mobility. Advancements in smart EV will alter the course of human mobility. Some of the most innovative, trillion-dollar-companies of the future will be technology companies in this field – which is why I made my bet early with Li Auto.
The best way to predict the future is to create it; and we are proud to see Li Auto doing just that.
Finally, I would like to thank entrepreneurs and scientists around the world who possess the creativity, vision and the drive to tackle problems which are deemed to be “impossible” at the time. As a venture capitalist, my responsibility is to relentlessly seek out these people and ideas and empower their vision with the necessary tools and capital. If there is one thing I can do to leave my mark on our world, this is it.
Mingming HUANG Founding Partner Future Capital Discovery Fund
Li Auto is a Chinese electric car maker that designs, develops, manufactures, and sells premium smart electric SUVs.
Founded in 2014, Future Capital Discovery Fund is a specialized early-stage investor targeting enterprise focused technologies and selective game-changing consumer tech businesses in Greater China.