Self-driving startup AutoX raises USD 100 million from investors including Alibaba

New cash for a cash-burning industry.

Courtesy of AutoX. Courtesy of AutoX.

Hong Kong-based startup AutoX said on Monday that it has closed its Series A financing round, bagging USD 100 million, according to a press release.

State-owned Dongfeng Motor, one of China’s largest automakers, led the round, while a fund under Alibaba and Silicon Valley-based incubator Plug and Play’s China fund both joined.

Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, a public company set up by the Hong Kong government in 2001 to foster the development of innovation and technology, also participated in the funding. AutoX, which was founded in 2016 in Silicon Valley by Xiao Jianxiong, a former Princeton University assistant professor, added that it has also gained investors from Southeast Asia in this round, but did not deliberate on the matter.

New funds will be used to build its autonomous driving fleet and to add new members to its technical team.

AutoX said it plans to apply its autonomous driving solutions to the logistics sector since it has joined Alibaba’s ecosystem. Also, the company will enter Southeast Asian markets now that it has investors from the region.

The startup used its self-driving cars to deliver burgers and fries at the CES tech show in Las Vegas in January.

Earlier this month, AutoX partnered with Shanghai authorities to roll out 100 robotaxis in a demo zone in the city’s Jiading district by early 2020, so that local residents will be able to commute using driverless taxis.