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Robotruck startup Inceptio raises $270 million, JD Logistics and Meituan lead round

Inceptio, a Chinese-based robotruck startup, has completed the $270 million Series B on Tuesday. JD Logistics, Meituan, and PAG were the investors in the round.

Why is it important:It’s uncommon to have two Chinese tech giants to be part of the same round of funding which indicates that they view Inceptio as a major player.

Information: The funding round is managed by JD Logistics, online retailer JD’s delivery division, Life service provider Meituan as well as PAG, a private equity business PAG. Additional investors include express delivery Deppon as well as IDG Capital, Inceptio said in the Tuesday statement. The investors did not provide any valuation of the company.

  • Inceptio has raised over $490 million since it was founded on the 1st of December in 2018.
  • The Shanghai-based startup for robotrucks will make use of the money to boost research in-house on self-driving technologies and speed up the development of electric vehicles in the announcement.

Background: Both JD and Meituan have made investments in autonomous vehicles, however the progress in drivers-less technologies has been slow than what many had hoped for. JD is reportedly behind in its own self-driving vehicle project.

  • JD revealed a completely autonomous truck in Beijing in the middle of 2018 and predicted that its test fleet to start commercial operations by 2020. The Paper published (in Chinese). The company hasn’t yet announced any new developments. A JD spokesperson didn’t respond to TechNode’s inquiry concerning the achievement of the target.
  • Meituan has also invested in autonomous vehicles for the past few years. It has invested in Haomo.ai which is a company that develops autonomous driving technology for passengers cars as well as electric car company Li Auto.
  • Inceptio announced in March that it would manufacture two self-driving truck models at the end of the year. These models are developed together with Chinese automobile makers Dongfeng and Sinotruk respectively.
  • In November of last year, Inceptio raised $220 million in its Series A. Investors include the battery giant CATL as well as logistics company GLP as well as Nio Capital, an investment company partly founded by electric vehicle manufacturer Nio.

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