Freetech Intelligent System Co. today said it has secured Series A investment of more than $100 million (U.S.). The Hangzhou, China-based company said it plans to use the funding to accelerate development and scale production of its autonomous driving and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS).
The intelligent driving industry will grow with more assisted driving, mature autonomous driving systems, and an improved autonomous driving ecology, stated Lin Zhang, founder of Freetech. “Our flexible L2 autopilot solutions can provide Chinese consumers with a new ‘human-machine co-driving’ experience that is cost-effective,” he said.
Freetech readies L3 for mass production
Freetech was founded in 2016, and its vehicle perception technology includes cameras, millimeter-wave radar, and domain controllers. The startup plans to supply SAE Level 3 autonomy capabilities for vehicles to be released next year, and it has partnerships with Chinese automotive manufacturers for more than 40 car models.
In addition, Freetech is operating two self-driving shuttles at Hangzhou Canal Asian Games Park.
The company said its integrated full-stack offering is ready for mass production in mid-to-high-end models and help the Chinese automotive industry be a world leader in innovation.
Investors support business model
China Internet Investment Fund led in Freetech's Series A round. Other investors included Huiyou Capital, Dongfeng Bank of Communications Automotive Industry Investment Fund, Yunxiang Wuzhen Equity Investment, Hengxin Huaye, Hunan Minmetals Gaochuang, and Zhuoyi Capital. Joint Capital acted as the exclusive financial advisor
The company earned $23.2 million in revenue last year, and it expects that to triple this year, said Zhang. “2021 is a year of rapid development at Freetech,” he said. “Freetech will continue to expand independent R&D and innovation capabilies ... and become the 'intelligent engine' that drives China's smart driving to lead the world.”
“Autonomous driving is a scenario-based application, and OEMs require suppliers to not only have leading software, hardware, and algorithm technology, but also excellent mass-production capabilities,” said Yang Longzhong, founder of Huiyou Capital. “We believe that Freetech, unlike many local suppliers, can fully meet the requirements of local OEMs for autonomous driving.”
“Freetech has leading technology, competitive products, and sustainable profitable business model,” said Xiong Jiahong, deputy general manager of Dongfeng Asset Management Co. “As a service provider and product supplier of intelligent driving solutions, Freetech has complete technical capabilities from perception to planning to control execution, and has strong landing and delivery capabilities.”
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