The latest beneficiary of this investment spree is lesser-known Zvision Technologies, a Beijing-based startup focused on developing lidar sensor systems for self-driving vehicles and intelligent robots.
Zvision has raised hundreds of millions of yuan in its series B funding round, including two tranches led by Intel Capital and former Google China head Kai-Fu Lee’s Sinovation Ventures, according to a company statement released Friday.
A crucial technology for autonomous driving, lidar uses spinning lasers to scan obstacles around a vehicle as it moves. It bounces laser pulses off surrounding objects and measures the return time of reflected light to calculate distances and shapes.
The 4-year-old company said it will use the fresh capital to automate production lines at its plant in the city of Changshu near Shanghai and increase investment in product and core chip research and development.
Zvision has developed two lidar sensors for long-range and short- and medium-range applications, with the ML-30s lidar featuring blind spot sensing under mass production since 2020, according to its website.
Zvision’s financing effort came more than a week after Shanghai-based lidar developer Hesai Technology completed its $300 million series D funding round co-led by Xiaomi, Meituan, GL Ventures and Citic Private Equity Funds Management.
In May, Baidu, which has created a smart electric-vehicle manufacturing joint venture with Geely, awarded a contract to Hesai for a lidar sensor customized for its robotaxis as it seeks commercialization of the service.
Tesla challenger Xpeng, whose sales grew fast over the past several quarters, also plans to install lidar sensors in its mass-produced electric cars in an effort to improve the accuracy of positioning and object detection, even in dimly lit conditions.