China's SemiDrive raises series A for automotive chips

September 28, 2020 // By Peter Clarke
China's SemiDrive raises series A for automotive chips
Nanjing SemiDrive Technology Ltd., a 2018 startup, has raised CNY500 million (about $73 million in Series A equity finance.

This round of financing was led by Heli Capital, with a large proportion of existing shareholders including Matrix Partners China, CLP Walden, Lenovo Ventures, Xiangfeng Investment, Sequoia Capital China Fund and Accuracy.

Since its formation in June 2018 SemiDrive has launched the X9 smart cockpit chip, the V9 ADAS and autonomous driving processor and the G9 multi-domain interconnected vehicle gateway and security chip.

SemiDrive was co-founded by CEO Maggie Qiu, who was previously general manager of Freescale Qiangxin, as well as R&D director for the i.MX product line at Freescale. SemiDrive is one of the few fabless semiconductor companies in China to have passed the ISO 26262 functional safety management system certification.

Chairman Zhang Qiang said SemiDrive would use the money to invest in software, applications and the ecosystem around the '9' series of chips to help customers land mass production. At the same time, it will speed up the research and development of new product series and expand its layout in the fields of new energy vehicles, autonomous driving, and C-V2X.

The lead investor of this round of financing, Zhang Biao, a partner of Holly Capital, said: "We are very optimistic that Nanjing SemiDrive Technology can break the monopoly of international car-regulated processors in the automotive market and become the leading benchmark enterprise in China’s car-regulated processors."

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