Autohome, a Chinese automobile sales platform backed by Li Xiang, founder of electric vehicle start-up NIO, has led a series A round worth nearly RMB100 million (US$14 million) in Sight Plus, an augmented reality solutions provider.
With the investment, Autohome plans to apply AR technology to the automotive industry, specifically to help potential car buyers view and test out vehicles online, according to a company announcement.
"63% of customers make decisions based on appearance when purchasing a car. AR technology could make online vehicle displays far more detailed for car manufacturers and car dealers," said Zhang Jingyu, a vice president at Autohome. "Sight Plus is the AR solution provider for Autohome’s AR car exhibition, and has outstanding technology."
Founded in 2012, Plus Sight helps clients develop mobile apps with AR feature and create AR content. Its products are used by customers in finance, education and advertising. Customers include China Merchants Bank, Alipay, Autohome, Xiaomi Inc., Microsoft Corp and Unilever.
Plus Sight previously raised a RMB40 million (US$6 million) series A round from Green Pine Capital Partners in February 2016. It plans to use the latest proceeds to enhance its technology to apply AR solutions to more fields.