Startups

Alibaba leads $300 million investment in Chinese self-driving startup DeepRoute.ai


Chinese autonomous driving start-up DeepRoute.ai said today it has raised over $300 million in Series B funding to further research and development, expand its team, and scale automaker collaboration and fleet operation. The round was led by Alibaba Group, with participation from other investors including Jeneration Capital. Previous investors Fosun RZ Capital, Yunqi Partners, and Glory Ventures.

We featured DeepRoute a little over a year ago when the Chinese autonomous driving startup unveiled three of its autonomous vehicle technologies and computing platform solution at CES 2020. The technologies include a vehicle-grade computing platform solution, DeepRoute-Tite, High Dynamic Range camera, and ADS Synchronization Controller.

Along with the debut of the computing platform, DeepRoute will be launching its first-generation vehicle camera, DeepRoute-Vision. The vehicle camera has a higher dynamic range than other products on the market, allowing optimal performance even under bright sunlight or from within a dark tunnel. Designed to handle LED bulb flicker, the camera can also accurately capture information displayed on LED screens. The vehicle camera will be on display and demonstrated by DeepRoute representatives at the show.

“Our investment in DeepRoute.ai reflects our confidence in the company’s technology and the management team,” said Jason Tan, Partner and Chief Investment Officer of Jeneration Capital. “The self-driving technology market is highly competitive and features many exciting innovations. We believe DeepRoute.ai’s engineering team and proven record of success to date will enable it to continue to be a leading innovator, empowering more businesses and services in a variety of industries.”

In addition to expanding the types of vehicles deployed, DeepRoute.ai also plans to grow its robotaxi fleet to more than 150 by the end of 2021, with their owned vehicles making up approximately 100 of the total, as interest in autonomous transportation and demand for affordable ride-hailing services increases. Currently operating in Wuhan and Shenzhen with over 1.2 million miles driven safely on public roads.

“DeepRoute.ai is the first autonomous driving company we have invested in. Since Pre-A funding, they have surpassed our expectations in both technology innovation and business cooperation. We look forward to DeepRoute.ai excelling as an industry leader and providing benefits to people’s daily lives worldwide.” said Grace Liu, Fosun Global Partner and Co-President of Fosun RZ Capital also added.

Founded in 2019, DeepRoute core technology team includes graduates and PhDs who graduated from internationally well-known universities, such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, University of Cambridge, Columbia University, Carnegie Mellon University. The Shenzhen-based startup makes self-driving systems for vehicles that involve hardware and software. DeepRoute.ai also runs a fleet of autonomous taxis with some operated by its partners including ride-hailing firm CaoCao and automaker Dongfeng Motors. The company is also developing technology for logistics.




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