Venture Capital: Chinese Driverless Company Pony.ai Raises $100M In Extended Round

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The company rounds off its Series C raise to a total of $367 million.

Pony.AI, a Chinese head-quartered autonomous driving startup, announced on February 8 its additional raise of $100 million in Series C. In November, the company had picked up $267 million in that Series, and in the process, earned itself a valuation tag of $5.3 billion.

The Teachers’ Innovation Platform (TIP), a fund from the stable of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, had led the round. Investors participating included Fidelity China Special Situations PLC, 5Y Capital (formerly Morningside Venture Capital), ClearVue Partners, and Eight Roads.

In the extension now announced, Brunei Investment Agency and CPE, CITIC Group’s PE arm CITIC Private Equity Funds Management, have joined Pony.ai as new investors. (Gasgoo)

Solid fundraising effort

In aggregate, Pony has raised over $1 billion since its founding in 2016. James Peng, formerly of Baidu, and Tiancheng Lou (who worked at Google X) launched the startup,  aiming to build level 4 autonomous cars.

Much of that funding has come from OEMs and global institutional investors.

During the past 12 months itself it has raised $900 million.

In August 2019, Pony.ai and Toyota initiated joint autonomous driving pilots in China. Pony also has partnerships with Hyndai and GAC.

Autonomous technology

It has been testing its Robotaxi pilot service, PonyPilot, since late 2018 in Guangzhou, China. In November 2019, Pony.ai also became the first company to roll out a public-facing Robotaxi pilot service in California.

In 2019, the company also reached the milestone of 1.5 million autonomous kilometers.

In the long run, the company will bring long-distance freight trucks under the umbrella of its autonomous technology.

According to CNBC, driverless cars are likely to take off in a big way in China. By 2040, they could clock as much as 66% of all mileage by Chinese passengers, says a McKinsey forecast.

Moreover, that kind of uptake of the technology could generate revenue of as much as $1.1 trillion from mobility services. Another $900 billion could come from sales of autonomous vehicles by that year.

Related Story:  California Headquartered Chinese Driverless Company Pony.ai Raises $267M

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