Recently, Shanghai-based automotive acoustic solutions supplier ZAFEN completed a round A+ financing led by Beijing Xiaomi Zhizao Equity Investment Fund Partnership, an industrial investment fund under Xiaomi, a Chinese consumer electronics maker that is now developing electric vehicles.
Founded in July 2019, ZAFEN’s core team comes from Harman China, Bosch China, Continental and other major international manufacturers, and has mastered capabilities like hardware, algorithm and software development in addition to sound tuning.
Automotive acoustic systems are an important part of an intelligent vehicle. With the development of automobile intelligence, the scale of this market segment continues to rise. According to Shengang Securities, at present, an electric vehicle has an average of 8 to 12 speakers and it is estimated that in 2025, the global vehicle acoustics market will be worth about 25.5 billion yuan ($3.7 billion), and the Chinese vehicle acoustics market will be 10 billion yuan.
Xiaomi Zhizao Equity Fund was established in September 2021 under the leadership of Xiaomi with a registered capital of 6.33 billion yuan. Up to now, the fund has made 12 investments, mainly equity investments and round A financing, involving automobile transportation, advanced manufacturing and other fields. The fund has completed the second round of fundraising with a scale of 2.7 billion yuan. In July last year, the fund raised 6.33 billion yuan for the first time.
In addition to ZAFEN, Xiaomi Zhizao Equity Fund has invested in lithium-ion battery material manufacturer F&let, automobile resistor manufacturer GiantOhm Micro Electronics Technology, integrated circuit chip company Pride Silicon, silicon carbide (SiC) components developer Alpha Power Solutions and automobile electronic chip developer KKChips Automotive Electronics.
At present, Xiaomi has three other investment platforms, namely Hubei Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Investment Fund Management Co., Ltd., Shunwei Capital and Xiaomi Private Equity Fund Management Co., Ltd., all of which have made investments in key areas such as batteries, intelligent driving and automobile chips.
According to Lei Jun, founder of Xiaomi, the vehicle-making business has exceeded expectations. To date, the company’s winter tests have been successfully completed recently and mass production is expected in the first half of next year. He added that he spends half of his time in the automobile business as it has grown to include an automobile R&D team of more than 2,300 people at present.