CalmCar has secured about $150 million in a Series C round of financing as the Chinese startup, which provides autonomous driving vehicles with AI-based solutions and data services, is looking at an initial public offering (IPO) within 2022.
In a statement on Thursday, CalmCar said that the Series C round was led by German auto parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen AG. A range of Chinese investors participated in the deal, including Dragonstone Capital Management; Great Filter Venture, and Hong Kong-listed OCI International, which focuses on direct investments and private equity (PE) fund management.
Other investors include China Unicom Capital, Unicom Zhongjin Innovative Industry Equity Investment, and VinFast, an automotive startup owned by Vietnam’s largest conglomerate Vingroup.
Founded in 2016, CalmCar develops AI-enabled machine vision solutions, software, and hardware based on its automotive-grade computing platform for applications in areas like autonomous driving, smart parking, robotics, intelligent transportation, and public security, among others.
With its research and development centre in Tianjin and a total of over 150 R&D engineers, the startup also has presence in Beijing, and Detroit, the US.
The new financing will help CalmCar expand its production of solutions and products for Level 2 to Level 4 autonomous driving vehicles. It is also building a technology centre in Shanghai and recruiting talents to enhance the R&D of its self-driving technologies.
The Series C round came after CalmCar closed about 100 million yuan ($15.5 million) in a Series B round in November 2020.
Its early investors include SAIC Capital, the corporate venture capital (VC) arm of Chinese state-owned automaker SAIC Motor; Beijing Internet of Vehicle Industry Fund; Beijing-based Deliang Capital; and government-backed Shenzhen Venture Capital Management.