Home Transports Chinese Self-Driving Startup Pony.ai Secures US$214M

Chinese Self-Driving Startup Pony.ai Secures US$214M

In the wake of increased technological innovations, different companies are trying to align themselves with the trend by putting their best foot forward.

While some have opted for the acquisition of other companies with the desired technology and talent, others are seeking funding to push their endeavours.

Pony.ai is one of the companies in the latter category that recently made a buzz after securing a whopping 214 million US dollars from investors.

It did so in what is being referred to as the largest Series A round of funding, especially by a self-driving entity in China.

Eight Roads, a proprietary investment subsidiary of Fidelity International Limited, and ClearVue co-led the recent financing round.

Their investment has propelled Pony.ai’s total funding to a staggering US$230 million, which the Guangzhou-based startup has secured within two years since it was founded.

According to the startup, the money raised will be used expediting the commercialization of its technology, expanding its fleet of self-driving vehicles, supporting team growth as well as promoting new and existing partnerships.

By achieving these functions, Pony.ai will have made a noteworthy step towards achieving its goals.

James Peng, the chief executive officer of Pony.ai, said that he is convinced that the next significant obstacle for self-driving vehicles would be both small and medium distribution.

He emphasized his statement by saying that this undertaking marks an important step in validating the system’s entire reliability and stability.

Pony.ai culminated the first stage of its successful Series A round of financing back in January 2018, whereby it managed to raise 112 million US dollars.

However, it is the success of its second stage funding exercise that helped it to outdo its main rival, Roadstar.ai. In fact, the stage raked in a staggering US$128 million, which made the entire round nothing short of impressive.

Kathleen King, one of the partners at ClearVue Partners, said that automotive makes up an important part of large-ticket consumption.

She went ahead to state that self-driving vehicles would be a notable feature of future transportation.

On the other hand, Eight Roads’ managing partner Jarlon Tsang asserted that he is convinced that autonomous cars would be a unique, life-changing piece of technology.

Jing Chi, Roadstar. ai and most importantly, Pony. ai, make up the well-known Chinese autonomous driving startups that began in Silicon Valley located in the United States.

However, all these companies are currently undertaking their development agendas on the Chinese mainland. Their key objective is to separately launch robotic taxi services in the nation by the close of 2018.

Founded by Tiancheng Lou and James Peng in 2016, Pony.ai is an autonomous driving startup with its headquarters in Fremont, California.

The company is propelled by its mission to change the future of transportation by creating the most reliable and safest technology for self-driving cars.

Aside from its offices in Silicon Valley, Pony.ai has offices in China in cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou.

Operating in two countries marks a good start for the startup as far as its ambitions to reach a global audience are concerned.

Source SCMP

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KC Cheung
KC Cheung has over 18 years experience in the technology industry including media, payments, and software and has a keen interest in artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, neural networks and its applications in business. Over the years he has worked with some of the leading technology companies, building and growing dynamic teams in a fast moving international environment.
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