Banma steps up R&D on intelligent vehicle tech

The JV between Alibaba and SAIC Motor becomes financially independent as it raises $233 million from a public fundraising – its first – to develop intelligent in-car systems.

Banma Technologies, a joint venture between Alibaba and SAIC Motor that focuses on developing smart operating systems for internet-connected cars, has raised Rmb1.6 billion $233 million to research and develop intelligent vehicle technologies.

The company's first-ever public fundraising was led by SDIC Fund Management, the private equity arm of State Development Investment Corporation, and featured Yunfeng Capital and Shangqi Capital, Banma said on Thursday. And further fundraisings are planned.

The three year-old start-up did not divulge its post-money valuation but confirmed it has achieved so-called unicorn status meaning it is a private company now valued at more than $1...

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