China Electric-Car Startup Is Said to Hire Ex-Goldman Banker

(Bloomberg) -- Byton, the Chinese electric-car startup founded by BMW AG veterans, hired former investment banker Charles Cheng to focus on its capital markets and fundraising activities, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Cheng, who was previously a managing director at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Chinese joint venture, was hired as co-president, according to one of the people. He joined Byton in Hong Kong at the end of last year, the person said, asking not to be identified because details are private.

Byton has been seeking about $400 million in a new round of funding, people with knowledge of the matter said in January. Last month, the Nanjing-based company unveiled an electric SUV at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that uses facial recognition to unlock its doors. The car also taps Amazon’s Alexa technology for its entertainment system and features a 49-inch screen across the dashboard. 

Cheng left Goldman Sachs in 2015, the people said. Before his stint at the U.S. bank’s joint venture in Beijing, he was chief executive officer of China investment banking at Standard Chartered Plc, his LinkedIn profile shows. A spokeswoman for Byton declined to comment by phone, while Cheng didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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