Baidu’s intelligent electric vehicle arm Jidu has closed its Series A financing, raising nearly $400 million.
This round of financing was backed by Baidu and its strategic partner multinational auto manufacturer Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
With the completion of financing, Jidu is set to continue accelerating the progress in R&D and achieving mass production.
The brand’s first robotic car – or “robocar” – concept car (partially shown in main picture) 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 10 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 research and development 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 cockpit and smart manufacturing.
Jidu will also build up a system to facilitate user growth and market operation. By 2023, Jidu aims to present to the world a robocar with outstanding user experience and cost-effectiveness, setting an industry benchmark for smart cars.
As an important strategic initiative by Baidu in the field of intelligent mobility, Jidu says it is “committed to creating a revolutionary robocar that combines both intelligence and emotion, leading to a profound change in transportation”.
Yiping Xia, CEO of Jidu, says: “It has only been 10 months since Jidu started its journey.
“With the support of cutting-edge AI technology combined with a high-quality vehicle platform and manufacturing process, Jidu’s efficient development of automotive robot has been proven – 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 adds: “I would like to express my special thanks to the entire team who accompanied this project from the 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.”