Xiaomi-backed fund invests in Chinese self-driving tech firm Zongmu

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
  • Follow author on
Zongmu Technology
Representational Image

The multinational electronics company Xiaomi-backed investment fund has joined the slew of investors in Zongmu Technology as the Chinese autonomous driving system startup raised $190 million in its latest funding round.

According to the statement, Zongmu conducted the series D fundraising in three stages and Hubei Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Investment Fund Management Co. led the third phase of the round. 

Along with Xiaomi, Japan’s Denso Corp, Fosun Capital Group, Qualcomm Ventures and a fund backed by Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. also invested in the startup in this round. Zongmu is considering a listing on the Nasdaq-like STAR board exchange in Shanghai, according to Rui Tang, founder and chief executive officer of the company.

“As a high-tech firm, we for sure hope and are actively preparing for a potential initial public offering on the STARboard,” Mr. Tang said, without providing details on the listing plans.

The Shanghai-based startup focuses on autonomous driving and advanced driving assistant system technologies and products, according to its website. Zongmu also has research and development centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen as well as Stuttgart, Germany.

The startup has a contract with China FAW Group to provide automated valet parking (AVP) systems, which have been installed in one of the carmaker’s SUV models since late last year. Further, Zongmu plans to roll out a full level-four AVP system this year, which enables users to send parking instructions through mobile apps and the cars will drive autonomously to the parking spots.

“The technologies involving machine vision algorithms and high precision sensors can also be applied to other scenarios such as cloud services, autonomous driving on highways. All these markets provide great growth potential for our business,” Mr. Tang said. 

Zongmu also counts some of China’s biggest automakers such as Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. and BAIC Group among its partners. The startup is one of Xiaomi’s first bets on the automotive arena since the smartphone maker announced a $10 billion plan to build electric vehicles.

Related: Amazon-backed EV firm Rivian could seek $70bn valuation in IPO; Sources