Baidu leads $87m Series D round in smart lock startup YunDing

A man using a laptop computer walks past an illuminated sign for Baidu Inc. at the Baidu Technology Park in Beijing, China, on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

China’s technology giant Baidu has led a RMB600 million ($87 million) follow-on investment round in Beijing-headquarter smart lock maker YunDing Network Technology.

According to a South China Morning Post report, that quoted a statement from the search engine major, the deal will help YunDing benefit from the artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and smart cloud service of Baidu.

Baidu will be able to help YunDing ‘further complete its smart home ecosystem’, giving way to supply the growing demand for smart homes devices in China.

The latest financing comes about five months after YunDing raised RMB270 million ($39.1 million) in a Series C round led by Lan Fund and SIG Asia Investments, according to media reports.

The earlier Series C round was also joined by Baidu’s venture arm – Baidu Ventures – and other investors including Shunwei Capital Partners, Legend Star, China Renaissance K2 Ventures, and DT Capital Partners joining as other participating investors.

YunDing, whose mission is to be a maker of smart home products equipped with classic design and great user experience, claims it has shipped and installed over 200,000 packages of smart locks across China in 2016. The company claims that it has over 60% market share in smart locks in China’s smart apartment segment.

YunDing’s products are marketed under the brands, LOOCK and Yun Ding.

“The arrival of the AI era has brought a great opportunity to revolutionise the smart lock industry,” Baidu said in a statement.

So far, YunDing has clocked total revenue of over $26.8 million.

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