Toyota-backed startup Pony.ai raises $267 million in new funding round

In this news, we discuss the Toyota-backed startup Pony.ai raises $267 million in new funding round.

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Pony.ai, backed by Toyota Motor Corp, said on Friday it had raised $ 267 million in the initial phase of its latest funding round to a value of $ 5.3 billion, as the startup Autonomous wanted to strengthen its presence in the United States. States and China.

The latest funding, which comes just eight months after the company raised $ 462 million, makes Pony.ai one of the most valuable independent autonomous driving startups, with a higher valuation than its rivals. Aurora and Nuro, according to data provider Pitchbook.

The investment comes at a time when global automakers, tech companies, startups and investors – including Alphabet Inc’s Tesla, Waymo and Uber – are investing capital in the development of autonomous vehicles.

The funding was led by the Teachers ‘Innovation Platform (OTPP) of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, Pony.ai said in a statement.

Pony.ai, based in Fremont, also backed by Sequoia Capital China and Beijing Kunlun Tech Co, plans to use the funding to develop the technology and expand its fleet.

Pony.ai began developing its autonomous truck technologies in early 2019, chief executive James Peng told Reuters.

The company is testing its vehicles in Fremont, Irvine and in the Chinese cities of Guangzhou and Beijing and also recently launched an operation site in Shanghai.

The company is showcasing its Lexus autonomous sport utility vehicle and FAW truck at the China International Import Expo, or CIIE, an annual Shanghai import trade fair that began on Wednesday and will continue next week.

Pony.ai also recently received an investment from the public automaker FAW Group. [SASACJ.UL] and jointly develop autonomous cars and trucks.

Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh, editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Original © Thomson Reuters

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