‘Industrial Internet’ Company Nets $320 Million in Latest Funding Round
Beijing-based G7, which provides smart logistics for freight fleets, has raised $320 million in the biggest ever fundraising round for a startup specialized in the “internet of things” (IoT).
The round was led by Hopu Investment Management Co. Ltd., and other new investors include China Broadband Capital Partners LP and Total Energy Ventures International SAS, the company said in a statement. Previous shareholders including internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. also participated.
The funding round set a record for the global IoT startup scene, the company claimed in a statement that said it had previously raised more than $500 million in financing.
Founded in 2010, G7 started out as a logistics firm that placed sensors on its customers’ freight fleets, collecting data to improve fleet management. It later developed a so-called “integrated IoT platform,” serving more than 800,000 commercial vehicles for more than 60,000 customers, operating across safety, energy, financing and other sectors.
The company saw great opportunity in the coming of the “IoT age,” where more and more objects are expected to connect to the internet and “talk” to each other.
“Artificial Intelligence in IoT is reinventing transportation and logistics equipment … the scale of our data and neutrality of our industry-wide platform are at the core of our competitive edge,” said G7 President Julian Ma.
In April, the company teamed up with partners that include global firm Global Logistic Properties to establish a venture to develop next generation smart heavy-duty trucks powered by technologies such as autonomous driving.
G7 represents a new wave of Chinese internet startups that are jumping into the so-called “industrial internet,” a buzzword in China used to describe a shift toward business customers from individual users.
Earlier this year, Manbang Group, which operates a market-leading mobile app that matches truck drivers with shippers, closed a funding round of $1.9 billion from a group of investors led by China Reform Fund Management Co. Ltd. and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.
Contact reporter Mo Yelin (email@example.com)
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