chinabased inceptio 270m series jd logistics:
China-based robotruck firm Inceptio said on Tuesday that it has concluded a $270 million Series B round of funding. The investment round was organised by JD Logistics, Meituan, and PAG.
Why it matters: Two Chinese tech giants joining the same financing round is rare and indicates that they view Inceptio as a vital participant in the market.
The fundraising round is being spearheaded by JD Logistics, the delivery division of online retailer JD, life services platform Meituan, and private equity company PAG. According to a Tuesday release from Inceptio, other investors include express delivery company Deppon and IDG Capital. The investors didn’t offer a corporate valuation.
Since it was established in 2018, Inceptio has raised more than $490 million.
According to the release, the Shanghai-based robotruck business would utilise the fresh capital to speed up investments in electric vehicles and increase internal research on self-driving systems.
JD and Meituan have both made investments in driverless technology, although this development has lagged behind expectations. With regard to its own self-driving truck initiative, JD looks to be running late.
According to The Paper, JD showed a model of highly autonomous truck in Beijing in the middle of 2018, and planned for its testing fleet to start operating commercially in 2020. (in Chinese). But no new information has been released by the corporation. In response to TechNode’s inquiry regarding hitting the goal, a JD spokesman remained silent.
Meituan has also been making investments in autonomous vehicles for a while. The business made investments in Li Auto, a startup making electric automobiles, and Haomo.ai, a firm creating autonomous driving systems for passenger cars.
By the end of this year, two self-driving truck types will be mass produced, according to a March announcement from Inceptio. The vehicles will be jointly created by Dongfeng and Sinotruk, two Chinese manufacturers.
Inceptio secured $220 million in Series A funding in November from backers that included battery juggernaut CATL, logistics provider GLP, and Nio Capital, an investment company that was partially founded by electric car manufacturer Nio.