The fund, managed by Xiaomi, was among the investors who backed promising start-up Zongmu Technology Shanghai Co. The young company develops autonomous driving systems and has raised $190 million in its latest funding round.
In addition to Hubei, Xiaomi Changjiang Industrial Investment Fund Management Co. Japanese Denso Corp., as well as Fosun Capital Group, Qualcomm Ventures and a fund backed by China’s Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., participated in the financing.
According to Zongmu founder and CEO Rui Tang, the startup is currently looking into issuing shares on the Shanghai STAR Board stock exchange, the local equivalent of the NASDAQ. *»As a high-tech company, we certainly look forward to and are actively preparing for a potential initial public offering (IPO) on the STAR exchange,» the company’s CEO told reporters, refraining from giving details.
Founded in 2013, the Shanghai-based company specializes in autonomous driving systems and advanced driver assistance systems. Zongmu has research and engineering laboratories in Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen and Stuttgart, Germany. The manufacturing center is located in Xiamen.
Zongmu already has a contract with Chinese automaker FAW Group Co. For the supply of automated parking systems installed on one of the SUVs from last year. The plans include the presentation of the AVP parking system of the fourth level, which allows users to send commands through the application, after which the cars will park in free places.
Technologies using machine vision algorithms and high-precision sensors could be used to fulfill other scenarios, including cloud services and autonomous driving on highways, Rui Tan said. All of these markets provide potential for the growth of the company’s business.
Among the partners, Zongmu mentions the largest automakers in China, such as Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. and BAIC Group. The startup is one of the first automotive projects that Xiaomi decided to invest in, recently announcing a $10 billion electric vehicle plan. Prior to this, the smartphone maker invested in Black Sesame Technologies Inc., a developer of artificial intelligence chips for cars.