Robotics, which unveiled its first product last year and brought in an industry veteran, will use its latest financing to ramp up its R&D.

(Image credit: Xpeng Robotics)

Xpeng Robotics, the intelligent robotics-making arm of Xpeng Motors (NYSE: XPEV, HKG: 9868), has secured new financing after the launch of its robotic pony last September sparked heightened interest in the sector.

The company has completed the signing of a definitive agreement with a consortium of investors to raise more than $100 million for its Series A financing, it announced today, without disclosing its valuation.

The financing, led by IDG Capital and backed by Xpeng and other long-term investors, is the largest single round of funding in China's bionic robotics sector in the past two years.

The financing enables Xpeng Robotics to further strengthen its full-stack R&D investment in robotics hardware and software, bring in top talent, and accelerate product development and iteration to improve its technology and product competitiveness, according to a press release.

Xpeng Robotics, a subsidiary of Xpeng and a key part of its commitment to creating a mobile ecosystem of intelligent robots, expects smart robots to enter homes and bring profound changes to the way people live within the next two years.

"Smart mobility and intelligent robotics are developing at a speed that's exceeding expectations. We are a strong believer that the new technology-defined era will transform imagination into reality in our generation," said He Xiaopeng, Chairman and CEO of Xpeng.

"I also believe that in the future, manufacturers of smart cars will also be manufacturers of smart robots, creating 1+1 >2 synergy, "Mr. He added.

As one of the first companies in the field of walking robots in China, Xpeng Robotics was founded in 2016 and is headquartered in Shenzhen, with its R&D centers in Guangzhou, Beijing and Silicon Valley.

The company focuses on robot powertrains, locomotion control, robot autonomy, robot interaction and artificial intelligence.

As of the end of June 2022, Xpeng Robotics has more than 300 employees, 80 percent of whom are R&D staff, according to the company.

Benefiting from Xpeng's ecosystem, Xpeng Robotics boosts its R&D strengths to complement its parent company in autonomous driving, powertrain systems and intelligent interactions, it said.

The resulting product line is expected to define and lead the consumer-grade robotics market as a household essential in the age of artificial intelligence, the company said.

Last September, Xpeng Robotics unveiled its first product, an intelligent robotic pony with autonomous navigation capabilities and multi-modal emotional interaction features.

The quadruped robot is equipped with a robotic arm for the home that can serve as a companion with care, entertainment and transportation capabilities.

Xpeng will build smart robots in the same model it used to build smart cars, Mr. He said on Weibo after announcing the robot pony last September.

Xpeng will expand its capabilities in autonomous driving, smart voice, and smart intelligence to smart robotics, with the first goal of making a low-speed smart transportation robot, he said.

Two months after announcing the robotic pony, Xpeng Robotics announced that Xu Zhigen, a well-known robotics expert and former general manager of Peitian Robotics, has joined the company.

Xu will provide systematic and strategic guidance for Xpeng Robotics' organizational management, technology systems, and product development to build the company's core strengths in intelligent robotics, according to a statement late last November.

Xu previously worked in software and system design at , as a Research Scientist at Siemens China Research Institute, and as a Senior Specialist and Architect at Ericsson China.

"Development of the robotics sector is propelled by breakneck progress in science and technology. Xpeng Robotics is committed to establishing a holistic ecosystem for intelligent robots," said Xu, who is now the CEO of Xpeng Robotics.