Beijing-based Yikong Zhijia, which provides autonomous driving solutions for mining vehicles, recently announced that it has closed a Series A round of funding late last year, co-led by NIO Capital and Eight Roads Ventures.
The funding round was used to accelerate the development of its driverless system for open-pit mines, set up a Shanghai office, recruit talent, and prepare for future overseas market development.
Yikong Zhijia was founded in May 2018 and had received RMB 60 million angel round investment from Chentao Capital in 2019 and announced an RMB tens of millions Pre-A strategic funding round from Xinghang National Investment in July 2020.
NIO Capital is a private equity investment institution with RMB 10 billion in direct and participating funds under management.
Its first RMB fund was jointly launched by NIO, Sequoia China, Hillhouse Capital, and Yangtze River Industry Fund.
NIO Capital's investments are mainly focused on the automotive, energy, and high-tech sectors, involving electric vehicles and core components, new energy and energy internet, autonomous driving and intelligent systems, connected car and mobility services, new materials and related applications for systematic layout.
It has invested in companies including Shouqi Yuche, Dida Chuxing, Momenta, Ronbay Technology, and Shenzhen United Winners.
Yikong Zhijia said the company's Pre-A and Series A financing totaled more than RMB 100 million.
After the completion of the Pre-A round of financing, Yikong Zhijia is setting up a traditional transport fleet of more than ten formations of mines in Inner Mongolia. In the future, when the self-driving technology solution is mature, it can gradually carry out unmanned substitution on the basis of traditional transportation.
"Autonomous driving is one of NIO Capital's key areas of focus. We continue to be bullish on the progress of commercialization of autonomous driving in China," said NIO Capital Managing Partner Ian Zhu.
"As one of the easiest scenarios to land in the autonomous driving space, mines have a huge market space and are more easily replicated globally," he stated.
Cai Yuanxun, the Senior Partner at Eight Roads Ventures, said, "With our investments in Pony.ai and Innovusion, we have laid out our presence in the high-speed L4 space, and our investment in Yikong Zhijia will further improve our presence in the low-speed unmanned vehicle space. "
(Photo: Yikong Zhijia website)