Chinese tech giant Baidu‘s intelligent electric vehicle arm, JIDU, announced that it has closed a Series A round of financing, raising nearly $400 million. This round of financing was backed by Baidu and its strategic partner, the auto manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (“Geely”).
With the completion of this round of financing, JIDU is set to continue accelerating its progress in R&D and aims to soon achieve mass production. The brand’s first Robocar concept car will be unveiled at the Beijing Auto Show in April this year, with a mass-produced model set to be launched in 2023.
In January 2021, Baidu announced its plan to enter the automotive industry by launching a smart car company. In March, JIDU was established and received over $300 million in start-up capital. Now, in the span of only ten months, JIDU has received a new round of financing. JIDU is widely recognized by the industry for its innovative product development process and the speed at which it has developed its first model, outperforming the industry average.
The success of the new round of financing will help JIDU accelerate its R&D and mass production of the Robocar. Moving forward, JIDU will expand its R&D team with a focus on talent acquisition, especially in fields including advanced autonomous driving, smart consoles and smart manufacturing. JIDU will also build up a system to facilitate user growth and market operation. By 2023, the company aims to present to the world a cost-effective robotic car with an outstanding user experience which, the company hopes, will, set an industry benchmark for smart cars.
As an important strategic initiative by Baidu in the field of intelligent mobility, JIDU is committed to creating a revolutionary Robocar that combines both intelligence and emotion, leading to a profound change in transportation. “It has only been 10 months since JIDU started its journey,” said Xia Yiping, CEO of JIDU. “With the support of cutting-edge AI technology combined with a high-quality vehicle platform and manufacturing process, JIDU’s efficient development of an automotive robot has been proven – the brain, nervous system, and body of the Robocar are all under rapid development. When the product is delivered (in 2023), it will be a benchmark-level product.”