Baidu’s AI voice assistant Xiaodu closes Series B funding at $5.1 billion valuation
Chinese tech giant Baidu announced Tuesday that its artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant Xiaodu Technology has closed Series B financing at a $5.1 billion valuation. The exact amount of the funding was disclosed. Xiaodu Series A was completed in November 2020 at a post-money valuation of $2.9 billion.
The announcement comes in the midst of a regulatory crackdown on the tech industry by the Chinese authorities that has led to many Chinese tech companies losing billions of their market capitalization.
“We are pleased to see the rapid growth of Xiaodu, leveraging Baidu’s AI and large content and services mobile ecosystem, to change the way hardware provides value for consumers. Xiaodu entered the market in 2018 with sub RMB 100 smart speakers and rapidly became the world’s largest smart-display provider based on shipments,” said Herman Yu, CSO and CFO of Baidu.
“DuerOS with voice modality and larger screen is growing Internet usage at home and becoming the command center for IoTs, with its fast growth of OEM partnerships. Services revenue surpassed 10% of Xiaodu revenues in the most recent quarter, encompassing membership, advertising and skills store revenue share,” Yu added.
Xiaodu is the developer of DuerOS, a voice assistant system based on AI that supports television, speakers, and other smart home appliances. It completed its Series A funding in November 2020 at a post-money valuation of $2.9 billion, said Baidu.
In a statement, Baidu added the company would remain a supermajority shareholder after the Transaction.
Founded in 2000 by Eric Xu and Robin Li, Baidu is the largest Chinese language Internet search provider and search engine that enables individuals to obtain information and find what they need. Baidu offers functional online search, Tieba community search, industry-based vertical search, mp3 search, portal channels, and instant messaging services. Its products include Baidu Webpage, Baidu Video, Baidu Map, hao123.com, BaiduPedia, Baidu Input, Baidu Toolbar, TTPlayer, Iqiyi, and Sky Software.