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ZongMu Closes Series B, Advancing China’s Role in Autonomous Cars

ZongMu Technology closed a $14 million Series B, just days after becoming a listed entity on China’s New Third Board.

The Series B was co-led by Legend Capital, the venture capital arm of Legend Holdings Ltd., and an undisclosed private equity firm.

China-based ZongMu Technology, a self-driving technology company, joined China’s New Third Board (NTB) on Feb. 21.

NTB is an over-the-counter stock market for small- and medium-sized enterprises and is aimed at professional investors; it is regarded as a considerably industry-driven board, free from Chinese-government interference. And by joining the board, ZongMu now has access to further growth.

“This is the first fundraising behavior after the listing of the new board,” said Tang Rui, chief executive of ZongMu Technology. “With abundant capital support and strong board support, ZongMu will further accelerate the use of multiple ADAS products and auto-driving technology development,” he said.

China is home to many companies in the autonomous vehicle sector — most notably Baidu– and the country has set ambitious goals for leading the technological frontier.

Back in October 2016, the Society of Automotive Engineers of China (SAEC) laid out a map for the development of almost every aspect of the automotive industry until 2030 in a 450-page report. The automotive blueprint also stated an aim of having highly or fully autonomous vehicles on sale as early as 2021.

As an official automotive body, the SAEC has developed a cohesive policy on autonomous vehicles, which will propel the industry forward. Meanwhile, in the United States, a lack of overarching policy within the industry over the new technology may hinder the development as companies and local government spar and few American OEMs have been drivers of AV.

Local Chinese governments are already offering regulatory and infrastructure support, which Baidu in particular will use to introduce small autonomous buses that will run set routes.

“Advanced driver assistance system and self-driving technology are the important future directions of the global automotive industry,” Fan Qihui, managing director of Legend Capital, said in a report. “It is a potentially huge market. Legend Capital has been focused on emerging Chinese and global automotive high-tech enterprises that could become industry leaders, and we believe ZongMu has this potential.”

ZongMu could not be reached for comment by press time.

Founded in 2013, ZongMu develops advanced driver assistance systems, including 2D and 3D panoramic vision system, self-parking solutions, and driving recording systems. The company lists several partners on its website, such as Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, SV Auto, as well as OEM partners Chery and SAIC Motor, among others.

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