Smartphone giant Xiaomi acquires Deepmotion, a Beijing-based startup that develops digital mapping technology for autonomous vehicles.
This acquisition is Xiaomi’s latest move to build its own intelligent connected cars. Furthermore, an expansion into China’s auto sector could greatly expand Xiaomi’s mobile ecosystem. Moreover, it can create new revenue streams for the company.
More Details on Xiaomi acquiring Deepmotion
Xiaomi has reached an agreement to acquire Deepmotion Tech Ltd in a cash-and-stock deal. This deal is valued at $77.37 million.
Xiaomi’s president Wang Xiang said in an earnings call that the aim of the purchase is to accelerate the consumer electronics giant’s plan to develop autonomous driving technologies. Wang called this the most crucial part of intelligent and electric vehicles.
Wang further added that the company has been aggressively recruiting automotive engineers. Consequently, with a batch of 500 experts, the company has established its self-driving team. This team was established in March after its electric vehicle project was kicked off.
Background of Xiaomi’s investments and Deepmotion
Similar to Xiaomi acquires Deepmotion, Xiaomi has struck several deals to invest in autonomous driving startups in recent months. However, the Chinese tech giant ramps up its efforts to develop driverless car technology and mass-produce its first EV in the next three years.
The company has also raised its stakes in Geometrical Pal. It is a startup that develops software solutions that allow radar sensors in AVs to sense the environment. Xiaomi further made another investment. It was in self-driving software developer Zongmu Technology in June.
Four computer scientists formed Deepmotion. They were from Microsoft Research Asia in mid-2017. This is the research arm of the US tech company in the Asia Pacific region. In March 2018, the startup raised “dozens of millions of US dollars” from venture capital firms Redpoint China Ventures and Source Code Capital.