Chinese Auto Chip Firm SemiDrive Secures Nearly $139M in Round-B+ Financing

SemiDrive, a Nanjing-based chip firm, announced on November 28 that it has completed round-B+ financing totaling nearly 1 billion yuan ($139 million). In July of last year, it completed round-B financing, also worth 1 billion. Up to now, the company has completed seven rounds of financing, with participation by many prominent capital institutions such as Walden International, Matrix Partners China, Sequoia Capital China and Lenovo Capital and Incubator Group, as well as industrial firms such as CATL.

This round of financing was led by Wuxi SAIC Jinshi Innovation Industry Fund Partnership (Limited Partnership). The raised funds will be used to continuously upgrade the core technology of SemiDrive, update its vehicle chip products, strengthen the large-scale mass production and service capabilities, and accelerate the wider application of SemiDrive products.

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Founded in 2018, SemiDrive mainly develops auto-grade chips. The two co-founders, Zhang Qiang and Maggie Qiu, have worked in international chip companies with more than 20 years of experience in chip R&D and commercialization. The R&D investment accounts for more than 50% of the company’s total expenditure.

SemiDrive has launched four series of products, including intelligent cockpit chip X9, intelligent driving chip V9, central gateway chip G9 and high-performance MCU E3, covering the core chip categories for automotive electronics and electrical architecture.

These four chips have been mass-produced, and over one million chips were shipped during the year. The firm’s smart cockpit chip, the SemiDrive X9, has won orders for dozens of vehicle models. In the field of high-performance MCU, many large battery manufacturers are also its customers.

At the beginning of this month, SemiDrive Technology announced a cooperation with Banma, an Alibaba-backed smart car operating system developer. Based on the in-depth cooperation between AliOS Cyber and the intelligent cockpit X9 chip series, the two sides aim to build the industry’s first full-stack cabin parking integration scheme, so that the cockpits, driving and parking scenarios all share one set of chips, sensors and domain controllers, which can accelerate the integration of cockpits and driving cabins. It is expected that mass production will be realized in 2024.