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China based EV startup Jidu Raises $400M In Series A Round

The EV startup, Jidu, will also put a lot of effort towards branding and fan community, which its competitor Nio is renowned for.

China based Baidu’s Electric Car Brand Jidu Raises $400M Funding In Series A Round

The automotive sector, which used to have extended development cycles, is being disrupted by China’s digital behemoths. It’s difficult to keep track of all the new electric car brands that are emerging in the country these days. On Wednesday, Jidu, an electric carmaker launched a year ago by Baidu and its Chinese auto partner, Geely, announced that it had raised roughly $400 million in a Series A fundraising round.

The fresh infusion, funded by Baidu and Geely, which owns Volvo, adds to Jidu’s $300 million starting capital, which was closed in March. The funds will be used to accelerate Jidu’s R&D and mass manufacturing efforts, as well as to present its first concept “Robocar,” which it characterises as an automotive robot instead of a car. Mass production of the Robocar will begin in 2023.

Xia Yiping, Jidu’s CEO, previously led Fiat Chrysler’s connected car unit in the APAC region and is a co-founder of Mobike, the Chinese bike-sharing pioneer bought by Meituan in 2018.

The pace at which Jidu has advanced is astonishing, but it might quickly draw detractors who question the practicality of its technology. The fast cycle, according to the manufacturer, is due to its strategy of developing its autonomous driving systems and smart cockpit on a simulated prototype car instead of testing individual hardware bits in a mass-produced vehicle.

The automaker claims to have “tried and confirmed” the safety and dependability of its Level 4 (autonomous driving without human input in most conditions) capabilities for urban and highway roadways in a period of nine months.

The EV startup will also put a lot of effort towards branding and fan community, which its competitor Nio is renowned for. It began recruiting auto enthusiasts to join its “Jidu Union” in December to geek out over vehicles at online and physical gatherings.

Jidu will continue to hire and develop talent specialising in smart manufacturing, autonomous driving, smart cockpits, and other relevant technologies in the future.

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