China VC Weekly: Chassis, 3D Vision, Autonomous Driving and More
In last week’s VC news, EV chassis maker PIX completes pre-A round from an undisclosed investor, prominent autonomous driving firm WeRide closes massive $400 million fundraising and more.
EV Chassis Maker PIX Rakes in $11M From Single Undisclosed Investor
PIX, one of the more prominent companies within China’s autonomous driving industry, recently secured 72 million yuan ($11 million) from a pre-A round of financing, lifting its total capital raised to $20 million, according to TechCrunch.
Some of the company’s biggest clients include Alibaba, which uses its skateboard chassis, as well as Baidu and a Tier-1 German auto parts maker, which can’t be named due to a confidentiality agreement, that buys its ready-to-use robo vehicles.
PIX declined to disclose the name of its single investor in the latest funding round. The company did, however, say that it’s a major sanitation solution provider in China with over 10,000 pieces of equipment deployed nationwide. The investment is meant to create strategic synergies, so PIX and the investor will jointly develop service robots for “environmental operation scenarios,” which could mean anything from garbage pickup to street sweeping.
Founded by former architect Chuan Yu in 2014, the company was part of hardware accelerator HAX’s second batch when it started out by building drone solutions. Five years ago it drove into the automotive space and has since landed a handful of customers across China, Europe, North America and Australia.
3D Vision Firm DexForce Bags Nearly $10M in Financing
DexForce, a 3D vision software and hardware product company, completed an angel round of financing worth nearly $10 million, with investors including Green Pine Capital Partners and ZhenFund, according to a report by 36Kr. The funds obtained from this round will be invested in the R&D of products and talent recruitment.
Established in June 2021, DexForce focuses on the R&D of 3D vision products, providing cameras, algorithms and integrated solutions of software and hardware. At present, its solutions have been applied to industrial manufacturing scenarios including semiconductors, 3C (computer, communication and consumer electronics), automobiles and metal processing.
Industrial AI Firm DeepSight Secures Solid Series A Financing
Shanghai DeepSight Information Technology Co., Ltd. (DeepSight), a provider of circuit defect detection products, announced that it had completed an A round of financing totaling $10 million. The round was led by CCV and SND Financial Holdings, along with co-investment from existing shareholder Shunwei Capital.
The firm has previously obtained a pre-A round of financing led by Shunwei Capital and accompanied by Shanghai Xiaomiao Langcheng Investment Management, Ofound Angel and Wangdao Venture Capital. The company also gained an angel round of financing from Chenhui Venture Partners.
After the completion of this round of financing, DeepSight will expand its R&D and production team, develop AVI (automated visual inspection) products such as flexible printed circuit boards (FPC), printed circuit boards (PCB) and HDI, and maintain its leading position for fully intelligent AVI in the semiconductor field.
Founded in 2017, DeepSight focuses on quality inspection within the artificial intelligence industry, mainly involving the production of semiconductors.
SEE ALSO: China VC Weekly: Xiaomi’s Investment Spree
WeRide Receives $400M in Financing
Autonomous driving technology company WeRide recently obtained more than $400 million in a new round of financing, and its valuation after the investment totals $4.4 billion.
The investors were existing shareholder GAC Group, as well as new shareholders Bosch, China Arab Investment Funds and Carlyle Group.
China Arab Investment Funds also participated in the recent D-round financing of Pony.ai. Other investors of Pony.ai were Mubadala Investment Company and China Development Bank. In terms of valuations, Pony.ai and WeRide are the top two robotaxi automated driving companies in China.
Established in 2017 and headquartered in Guangzhou, WeRide is the first startup in the world to hold driverless test permits in both China and the U.S. WeRide’s robotaxi service became available to the public in June 2020 through Amap, a popular ride-hailing mobile app with 140 million monthly active users.
Shopastro Raises over $10M in Series A Round
Shopastro, a full-link service provider for Chinese brands operating in overseas markets, has recently received over $10 million in Series A round of financing. The leading investors were GL Ventures and a major US dollar fund, while its angel round investors, Blue Lake Capital and Shenjin Capital, also joined in this round.
The new capital is mainly to be allocated for talent introduction, improvements to its operations and services team, and national market development. The company plans to continuously build its intelligent marketing products, including by accumulating data, constructing better models, delivering more intelligent marketing strategies and more.
Founded in 2021, Shopastro provides one-stop solutions for brands seeking to expand their business overseas through independent software-as-a-service (SaaS), and helps merchants refine their operations and improve traffic conversion rates with big data and AI technology.
AI Chip Firm Tsing Micro Bags Several Hundred Million Yuan in Series B Round of Financing
Beijing-based AI computer chip company Tsing Micro announced on Friday that it has completed its Series B round of financing worth several hundred million yuan. The investment was led by a fund managed by ProCapital, followed by SenseTime Investment, Prime Pacific Capital, Beijing Integrated Circuit Cutting-Edge Chip Fund and existing shareholders SL Capital and ZY Capital.
This round of financing is mainly to be implemented for the continuous R&D of CGRA technology, and the improvement of product lines and solutions in various fields. The company also plans to improve its delivery capacity and cooperate with more enterprise customers.
About Tsing Micro
Tsing Micro was founded in July 2018. The company is committed to building energy-efficient chips covering the “End-Edge-Cloud” network through CGRA technology.