Alibaba Leads $300 million Investment into Autonomous Driving Start-up DeepRoute.ai
DeepRoute.ai, an L4 autonomous driving company in China, announced on Tuesday that it had completed the B round of financing of $300 million, which was led by Alibaba, followed by previous shareholders such as Fosun RZ Capital, Yunqi Partners and Glory Ventures, as well as industrial funds under Jeneration Capital and the investment firm under Geely.
The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) has defined 6 levels of driving automation ranging from 0 to 5. Level 4 vehicles do not require human interaction in most circumstances.
Chinese media outlet LatePost said that DeepRoute.ai, established in February 2019, has raised about 400 million US dollars and its valuation has exceeded 1 billion US dollars.
DeepRoute.ai’s CEO, Zhou Guang, outlaid the company’s plans for the money: “This round of financing will be mainly used for the company’s R&D investment, speeding up the expansion of staff as well as the scale of autonomous driving tests and operation fleets. Our company has started the trial operation of RoboTaxi in the center of Shenzhen. This year, we will also promote the application of autonomous driving in freight transportation.”
DeepRoute.ai also announced its business strategy for the next three years. The company will focus on building an automatic driving system, concentrate on the two major businesses of automatic driving and freight transportation within one city, and begin testing the application of automatic driving in multiple scenarios.
Since its establishment in early 2019, DeepRoute.ai has successively reached agreements with Dongfeng Motors, Cao Cao Chuxing, and Xiamen Ocean Gate Container Terminal Co., Ltd, in China, and launched automatic driving tests and demonstration operations in Shenzhen, Wuhan, Hangzhou and Xiamen.
On July 19th, the Futian District of Shenzhen cooperated with DeepRoute.ai to officially provide Robotaxi services to the public. The 20 Robotaxis in the district can accurately identify various objects, including humans, within a few hundred meters and be able to navigate according to real-time road conditions.
The autonomous driving company WeRide raised more than $600 million from January to May this year, bringing its total valuation to $3.3 billion. In April this year, TuSimple was listed in the U.S. Both of them are potential competitors of DeepRoute.ai.
SEE ALSO: Chinese Autonomous Driving Startup WeRide Bags More than $600 Million in Five Months