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China’s DiDi bags $3 million for autonomous driving unit

Nika From Gasgoo| January 28 , 2021

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing (DiDi) has raised $300 million for its autonomous driving arm, according to a local media outlet.

The funding round is led by IDG Capital, while CPE, Paulson, Russia-China Investment Fund, Guotai Junan International and CCB International were also among the investors, said the media outlet.

DiDi autonomous driving unit, DiDi robotaxi, China automotive news

Photo credit: DiDi

The information was seemingly confirmed by Zhang Bo, DiDi's CTO and CEO of DiDi's autonomous driving unit. “DiDi will spare no effort to research and develop autonomous driving technologies. We believe that the efforts we have made will have a huge impact on the mobility services over the next decade,” he said via its WeChat Moment on Jan. 28.

The report also revealed DiDi has already begun a new round of fundraising for autonomous driving business.

In August 2019, DiDi hived off its autonomous driving unit as a separate company run by Zhang Bo. But its R&D of the emerging technology could date back to 2016, when it decided to form its own self-driving technology team.

On May 29, 2020, DiDi announced it had closed a fundraising round of over $500 million for its autonomous driving subsidiary. Led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2, the closure of the round signifies the first time that DiDi's autonomous driving unit obtained external funding support after the spin-offs.

SoftBank-backed Didi has gained open-road testing permits in California, Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou and Hefei.

DiDi's App-based robotaxi service was first open to the public on June 27, 2020 in Shanghai, where signed-up passengers can request free rides in self-driving cars within designated areas.

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