Beijing-based autonomous driving startup Haomo.AI has raised nearly 1 billion yuan ($150 million) in its Series A financing round, entering the ranks of other unicorn companies.
Investors are GL Ventures, Meituan, Hong Kong-listed Shoucheng Holdings Limited, Qualcomm Ventures, and JZ Capital.
Haomo will spend the money raised on the R&D of autonomous driving technology and employee recruitment. The Series A round builds upon hundreds of million yuan the company raised in February this year from Shougang Fund, Meituan, and GL Ventures.
“By the end of 2022, Haomo expects to make its in-house developed Level 2 autonomous driving system available in 34 vehicle models, up from the current five models,” said CEO Gu Weihao, adding that over 1 million passenger vehicles are expected to be powered by this system in the next three years.
The system, named NOH (Navigation on HPilot) and available on Great Wall vehicle models WEY Mocca, Tank 300, WEY Latte, WEY Macchiato and Haval, have assisted users to drive more than 4 million kilometers, mainly on highways, with features such as automatic lane changing.
In addition to providing a Level 2 self-driving system, Haomo also produces unmanned Level 4 autonomous driving logistics vehicles. In this area, the company has partners including Meituan, Dmall (a supermarket chain within Wumart’s on-demand grocery delivery unit), and Alibaba‘s DAMO Academy as well. Haomo has built a 5,000 square-meter plant in Baoding, Hebei province, the biggest of its kind worldwide in terms of production capacity.
Such logistics vehicles are now delivering groceries to residents for Dmall in the district of Shunyi, Beijing and transporting e-commerce parcels at universities for Alibaba in cities such as Wuhan, Hubei province, and Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
“Digital transformation is sweeping across all major industries and markets, including automotive,” said James Shen, Vice President, Qualcomm International, Inc. and Managing Director of Qualcomm Ventures China. “Looking ahead into the future of mobility, we’re excited to support the continuous innovations of autonomous driving solution providers that serve mass-produced vehicles such as Haomo, to help drive connected and intelligent automotive experiences.”