Tech company Baidu’s intelligent electric vehicle arm, Jidu, has closed a Series A financing round, raising nearly US$400m. The round was backed by Baidu and its strategic partner, Geely.
With the round complete, Jidu hopes to continue accelerating its progress in R&D and achieve mass production. The brand’s first Robocar concept car is set to be unveiled at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in April this year, with a mass-produced model targeted for launch in 2023.
Baidu announced its plan to enter the automotive industry in January 2021 with the aim of launching a smart car company. Jidu was established in March 2021 and received over US$300m in startup capital. Moving forward, Jidu will expand its R&D team with a focus on talent acquisition, especially in fields like advanced autonomous driving, smart cockpit and smart manufacturing. Jidu will also build up a system to facilitate user growth and market operation.
“It has only been 10 months since Jidu started its journey,” said Yiping Xia, Jidu’s CEO. “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 proved – the brain, nerve 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.”
Xia continued, “I would like to express my special thanks to the entire team who accompanied this project from scratch. Moving on, we will continue to focus on product development and build our business network to quickly move forward. Our goal, as always, is to provide users with more revolutionary products that exceed expectations.”