Chinese self-driving logistics vehicle startup Neolix Technologies announced that it has raised nearly RMB200 million (US$28.8 million) in series A+ round of financing in February this year. The new round was led by Chinese EV car maker Leading Ideal. Addor Capital and existing shareholders Yunqi Partners and Glory Ventures also particiated.
Neolix announced in May 2019 that it had received nearly RMB100 million in series A round of financing from Yunqi Partners and Glory Ventures, and in April 2018 raised an angel investment from CHJ Automotive (later renamed " Leading Ideal") and Oriza Yuandian Venture Capital.
After the A+ round of financing, Leading Ideal has expanded its shareholding ratio and became the second largest shareholder of Neolix after the firm’s CEO Yu Enyuan. Proceeds of this round will be used for mass production and operations of self-driving vehicles.
Founded in 2018, Neolix was mainly developing level 4 short-distance commercial unmanned vehicles, which are currently applied in three scenarios: food delivery (mainly for group meals), mobile retail (selling fast food, coffee and other convenient goods), and security (cooperated with local governments).
During the coronavirus outbreak, Neolix sent 18 unmanned vehicles to participate in the distribution of materials at Lei Shen Shan Hospital and other hospitals and communities in Wuhan, and sent 50 vehicles to join in body temperature monitoring, spray disinfection and medical supplies distribution in the anti-epidemic frontline in other cities.
Previously, Neolix built a factory with an annual production capacity of 10,000 unmanned vehicles in Changzhou. The firm’s CEO Yu Enyuan said that they have invested nearly RMB300 million in research and development since the company was founded, and have sold 225 vehicles in the past two years. This year’s goal is to sell 1,000 vehicles and achieve annual balance of payments.
In terms of unmanned distribution, Neolix believes that although the driving and distribution efficiency of unmanned vehicles is not as good as that of human drivers, the unmanned vehicles can work better for delivery of group meals, because the vehicle can deliver 50-100 servings at a time.
It is worth mentioning that since its establishment, Neolix has cooperated with some Chinese large companies: it is a strategic partner of Baidu’s Apollo platform; it has sold unmanned vehicles to Meituan-Dianping, JD.com and Alibaba Group; and it has cooperated with Huawei in 5G communication technology.