Beijing-based developer of artificial intelligence-enabled autonomous driving cars UISEE announced Monday, January 25, 2021, that it had successfully raised more than 1 billion yuan or approximately $154.2 million in a funding round.
The funding comes as China doubles down on its desire to become a leading name in the artificial intelligence sector, states Tech Crunch.
Among the investors are the country’s National Manufacturing Transformation and Upgrade fund. According to Tech Crunch, the agency is backed by a hefty $21-million fund organized in 2019 to help uplift and boost the manufacturing industry of the country.
The $21-million funding by the National Manufacturing Transformation and Upgrade Fund reportedly invests in a variety of sectors such as next-generation information technology, power equipment, and new materials, as reported by Deal Street Asia.
Other existing investors who took part in the funding round include the likes of German electronics firm Bosch, as well as Shenzhen Capital Group and CCI Investment. Tech Crunch states Shenzhen Group and CCI Investment are backed by the government and state respectively.
Deal Street Asia states UISEE also counts early investors such as Kai-Fu Lee’s Sinovation Ventures, angel fund ZhenFund, CAS Star, and Cyanhill Capital as part of its supporters.
Founded in February 2016, UISEE uses big data and artificial intelligence to further its self-driving technologies. With its technology, it claims to have given clients hundreds of AI drivers in 2020 alone, reveals KrAsia.
It supplies an extensive range of industries from airports to logistics hubs, with Tech Crunch saying it has churned out robotaxis and city buses alike. Apart from this, it is also using big data and artificial intelligence to work on Hong Kong International Airport’s baggage tractors, along with other big names in the industry.
With the fresh funding, the company aims to boost its research and development as it gears to realize and fulfill its aim towards becoming a “full-stack, fully unmanned, all-weather” solutions, states Deal Street Asia.
Moreover, the company plans to expand its industry partners to help drive the commercialization of AI-enabled self-driving tech in the country to flourish.
In a statement, a representative from Guokai Manufacturing Transformation and Upgrading Fund, a sub-fund that manages around $7.7 billion and who has first invested in UISEE said, “The development of autonomous driving will not only speed up the transformation and iteration of China’s auto industry, but also lift the nation’s position as a manufacturing and tech powerhouse.”