China-based leading internet and AI (artificial intelligence) services provider Baidu Inc. has recently announced that its Smart Living Group has ventured into definitive agreements with IDG Capital, CPE, and Baidu Capital for Series A funding. Sources close to the matter stated that the financing round will be valued at around USD 2.9 billion (RMB 20 billion).
The transaction is reportedly subject to a few closing conditions and is expected to be finalized by the end of 2020. Upon completion, Baidu will hold majority of the voting rights and will continue to consolidate the monetary results of Smart Living Group as a major stakeholder, sources claimed.
For those uninitiated, Baidu had introduced Small Living Group in the year 2017, with an intent to integrate Raven Studios, Baidu Hardware Eco-Channel Department, and Baidu Duer Department under one roof. In fact, SLG operates DuerOS-powered voice assistant as well as various other smart devices.
Chairman and CEO at Baidu, Robin Li was reported saying that SLG has witnessed rapid expansion since its inception. He added that the company, by using its advanced AI capabilities, has emerged as a major player in voice assistant and smart devices market.
Baidu primarily focuses on incubating new businesses using its strong synergies and advanced technologies from Baidu Core, Li further claimed. The recent transaction marks another milestone in Baidu’s efforts to acquire large market opportunities.
Headquartered in Beijing, Baidu Inc. is a multinational technology giant that specializes in Internet-related products and services as well as in AI technologies. The Baidu search engine is presently the third largest website in the world. The company was incorporated in January 2000 by Eric Xu and Robin Li.
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