Alliance Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, has become the lead strategic investor of WeRide.ai (formerly JingChi.ai), a Chinese autonomous driving company focused on L4 self-driving technology, following completion of the company’s Series A funding.
The investment in WeRide.ai is the first investment in China and part of the Alliance Ventures strategy to support entrepreneurs and start-ups at the cutting edge of next-generation automotive technology.
As a result of the Alliance Ventures support, WeRide.ai will become the first Chinese start-up specialising in L4 autonomous driving to receive investment from and form strategic partnership with a global automotive group.
François Dossa, Alliance Global Vice President, Ventures and Open innovation, said: “Our goal at Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi is to develop mobility solutions for all. We aim to introduce autonomous mobility in key markets such as China, so we are delighted to be supporting WeRide.ai as it pioneers such full autonomous systems for the demanding Chinese market-place.”
Tony Han, CEO and co-founder of WeRide.ai said, “On top of financial investment, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and WeRide.ai will also form deep technical and strategic cooperation at a global scale. We truly believe the next stage of autonomous transportation revolution 2.0 has arrived. WeRide.ai will continue leading the technology revolution and provide relevant and meaningful benefits to everyone.”
WeRide.ai, advised by Morgan Stanley on the latest funding round, is committed to creating autonomous driving technology for China which will dramatically change people’s views of cars, transportation services and urban construction design.
Utilising the latest investment, WeRide.ai plans to deploy a fleet of 500 autonomous vehicles in 2019, to accumulate 5 million kilometeres of actual autonomous driving mileage, and conduct operation and commercialisation trials in Guangzhou and Anqing with key partners. Since launching its autonomous trial operations in China, WeRide.ai’s autonomous vehicles have accumulated a total mileage of more than 60,000 kilometers, and served more than 3,000 passengers worldwide.
Pre-A round lead-investor, Qiming Venture Capital participated in the latest round, which was also supported by Hanfor Capital, Atop Capital, Johnson Electric, He Xiaopeng, IDInvest Capital、and OceanIQ Capital..
WeRide.ai, which currently has more than 200 employees worldwide – 70% of whom are engineers, is the first autonomous driving company in China to use 5G network for remote control of a driverless vehicle. The company’s goal is to bring autonomous vehicle operations into Chinese cities by 2020 and become the world’s first large-scale commercial application of autonomous vehicle technology.