Chinese EV maker XPeng’s robotics arm raises $100 million to bring robots to households in 2 years

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XPeng is still focused in boosting the sales of its electric cars. But it has been focusing on building out future businesses in flying cars and robotics.
Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

XPeng Robotics, the affiliate company of Chinese electric carmaker XPeng, on Tuesday said it raised $100 million as part of its aim to commercialize household robotics in the next two years.

The financing was led by high-profile venture capital firm IDG Capital, with XPeng also participating.

XPeng Robotics said in a press release that the money would be used to strengthen its research and development investment in robotic hardware and software, recruit talent, accelerate product development and boost technology and product competitiveness.

The company said it expects its first robots to enter households in the next two years.

Last year, XPeng Robotics launched a ridable four-legged “robot unicorn” as its first project.

While XPeng’s primary focus is still on growing its electric vehicle sales in China and more recently abroad, the company has been keeping one eye on the future via spin-off entities.

XPeng Robotics focuses on robots while another company called HT Aero, which raised more than $500 million from outside investors last year, is putting its efforts into flying cars. HT Aero publicized a car last year that can fly and drive on roads.

He Xiaopeng, CEO of XPeng, sees robotics and passenger drones as an extension of the company’s focus on transportation.

“With the development of technology, the form of mobility will evolve from wheels to wings, propellers, 4 legs or 2 feet,” he told CNBC last year in an interview.

XPengis not the only electric carmaker moving into robotics. U.S. rival Tesla is working on a humanoid robot named Optimus which the company said could go into production next year.

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