SUNNYVALE, Calif. & BEIJING--(BUSINESS WIRE)--JingChi Inc. (“JingChi”), the leading self-driving technology company from China, announced today the completion of a combined $52 million pre-A investment round from lead investor Qiming Venture (“Qiming”), strategic investor NVIDIA GPU Ventures, and a consortium of other investors. The investment allows JingChi to rapidly expand its research and development teams globally, and ramp up deployment of a fully Level 4 autonomous driving test fleet in China by the end of 2017. Duane Kuang, Founding Partner at Qiming, will join JingChi’s board of directors.
JingChi was founded in early April 2017 and has already broken several records in its brief autonomous driving history. In less than five weeks, the Company successfully completed autonomous driving tests in a closed venue. On June 18, JingChi became the 34th company to obtain a license for testing autonomous vehicles on California’s public roads. On June 24, JingChi completed its first autonomous mode testing on public roads in Sunnyvale, California, just 81 days after JingChi started operations.
On August 15, 2017, JingChi signed a comprehensive agreement with Anqing City, China, allowing JingChi to deploy a fleet of 50 autonomous test vehicles with initial operations slated to launch as early as the end of 2017. The company plans to deploy hundreds of autonomous vehicles powered by NVIDIA DRIVE PX in 2018 to provide a “Robotaxi” ride-hailing service in Anqing City.
“We are creating an innovative mobility ecosystem to transform every single trip to be safer, more efficient, more cost-effective and more leisurely,” said Jing Wang, founder and CEO of JingChi. “We are determined to bring fully autonomous vehicles to China and become one of the first companies that apply autonomous driving technologies at scale in 2020. With this investment, it makes our dream possible.”
"The NVIDIA DRIVE PX AI platform is crucial to developing and deploying deep learning capabilities for JingChi and most other autonomous vehicle projects around the world,” said Tony Han, co-founder and CTO of JingChi. “NVIDIA offers significant computational advantages that will boost in-vehicle computation abilities, making JingChi's autonomous vehicles safer and more reliable. JingChi is eager to work with NVIDIA to maximize the benefits of DRIVE PX to realize its vision of bringing autonomous ride-hailing to China. With NVIDIA’s partnership and investment, JingChi can further accelerate autonomous vehicle technology development."
“Qiming has been closely monitoring the artificial intelligence and autonomous driving space in the last few years. We truly believe these are transformative technologies that will benefit human kind in the years to come,” said Duane Kuang, Qiming Founding Managing Partner. “We are extremely impressed with Jing and the team at JIngChi, and feel fortunate to embark on this journey from the beginning with the team, to become one of the world’s first companies to introduce autonomous driving to the mass market.”
“Artificial intelligence is reshaping the entire transportation industry, and we are excited by JingChi’s vision for harnessing deep learning for autonomous driving,” said Jeff Herbst, vice president of Business Development at NVIDIA. “They are making impressive progress and we’re dedicated to supporting their important work.”
“Anqing is a historical and culturally significant city,” said Lei Dong, Anqing Vice Mayor. “With the release by the State Council of the 'Next Generation Artificial Intelligence Development Plan', we are accelerating the development of strategic national industries which will serve to modernize the City. We fully support JingChi’s plan to have R&D and testing facilities in Anqing and jointly build the operating model for autonomous vehicle operations.”
JingChi is a rapidly growing autonomous driving company, and has more than 50 full time employees. More than 80% of employees are engineers and most have PhD degrees from top ranking universities including CMU, UIUC, Stanford, UC Berkeley, USC, etc. The core technical team has decades of combined experience working on a variety of autonomous driving projects for multiple companies such as Baidu, Ucar, Didi, Uber, and Tesla.
Founded in 2017 by Jing Wang together with a group of talented passionate individuals, JingChi has emerged as the leading Chinese autonomous driving startup aiming to be the first company to achieve large-scale, commercial deployment of fully Level 4 autonomous vehicles in China. JingChi is committed to using deep learning to deliver fully autonomous vehicles that operate without human intervention by using a combination of LiDAR, cameras, and radar sensors along with artificial intelligence to perceive the driving environment and navigate the quickest and safest path to the final destination. JingChi is developing software and systems for fully autonomous vehicles in order to deliver a safe, robust, and convenient MaaS (Mobility as a Service) to the public. Please visit http://jingchi.ai for more information regarding JingChi and open job positions.
Founded in 2006, Qiming is a leading China venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and Hong Kong. In 2016, Qiming raised its first US fund, and set up Qiming’s US office in Seattle. Currently Qiming manages five US Dollar funds and four RMB funds in China with US$2.7 billion assets under management. Qiming strives to be the investor of choice for top entrepreneurs in China. Since our debut, we have backed over 210 young, fast-growing and innovative companies across China in the internet and consumer ("Intersumer"), healthcare, information technology and clean technology sectors. Over 30 of them are already listed on NYSE, NASDAQ, HKEx, Gretai Securities Market, Shanghai Stock Exchange, and Shenzhen Stock Exchange or achieved exit through M&A. Qiming consistently ranks among the top venture firms in terms of returns to its investors. For more information regarding Qiming, visit www.qimingvc.com.
Anqing City in Anhui Province is a national and culturally significant city situated on the north bank of the Yangtze River. Founded in the 2nd century BC, Anqing is a renowned garden city, tourist attraction, and a designated model green city by the China National City Urban Association. In recent years, Anqing has made significant progress in strategic emerging industries such as high-end equipment manufacturing, bio-medicine, and new energy vehicles. In addition to its easy access and navigation of the Yangtze River, Anqing is connected by high-speed rail, modern expressways, and an airport to cities throughout China. New developments in public roadways also make Anqing very suitable for the testing and operation of autonomous vehicles. For more information regarding Anqing, visit www.anqing.gov.cn.