Alibaba, Foxconn, IDG Lead $348M Investment In Chinese Smart Car Maker Xiaopeng Motors

Chinese electric vehicle maker Xiaopeng Motors has raised RMB2.2 billion (US$348 million) in a series B round led by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., IDG Capital and Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., also known as Foxconn.

Jack Ma-backed Yunfeng Capital, Apoletto Asia, CICC, and existing investors GGV Capital,  Matrix Partners China and Morningside Venture Capital also participated in the round. The firm has so far raised more than RMB5 billion (US$791 million), it said Monday in Hong Kong.

Founded in 2014, Xiaopeng, which operates under the trade name Xpeng Motors, focuses on developing "Internet cars" and electric vehicles, and is conducting research on autonomous driving technology.

Xiaopeng debuted its first production car, the G3 electric sport utility vehicle, at the International CES 2018 in Las Vegas earlier this month. The company initiated test production in October.

The smart transportation sector is expected to have the fastest growth," said Cai Chongxin, executive vice chairman at Alibaba. "Xiaopeng Motors is an example of cross-sector innovation, combining technologies in Internet, artificial intelligence and traditional manufacturing."

The G3 is expected to hit the market in China later this year. The car is equipped with 360-degree panoramic roof camera, intelligent central touchscreen, intelligent low-speed driving, remote control and a total of 25 sensors.

Last December, Xiaopeng Motors raised an undisclosed amount of new funding from investors including Alibaba, GGV Capital and Matrix Partners China. Last June, the company received a strategic investment of RMB 2.2 billion (US$320 million) from Ucar Group, a mobile app-based chauffeured car service launched by Chinese car rental company CAR Inc.