Category Archives: Automotive

Lidar startup AEye raises $40M Series B led by the Taiwanese government’s investment firm

Lidar technology developer AEye will scale its operations globally through manufacturing partnerships after raising a $40 million Series B. The round was led by Taiwania Capital, the investment firm created and backed by Taiwan’s National Development Council, and includes returning investors Kleiner Perkins, Intel Capital, Airbus Ventures and Tychee Partners. This brings the California-based startup’s total funding so far to about $61 million. In a press statement, founder and CEO Luis Dussan said Taiwania’s investment is a strategic one and will give AEye more access to manufacturing, […]

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Meet Uber’s newly promoted chief product officer, Manik Gupta

Manik Gupta got his first taste of solving logistics nightmares when, fresh out of college, he was delivering Palm Pilots around Singapore. He’d started a precursor to Groupon called BuyItTogether. “We were a full-stack marketplace where we were also delivering the goods. That’s what caused us to not have good profit margins. Actually, zero profit margins,” he recalls with a laugh. His new gig isn’t earning profits either. Uber lost nearly $1 billion last quarter. But the company sees Gupta’s experience with delivery and maps as crucial […]

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RideCell expands funding round to $60 million

RideCell, a transportation software startup, has doubled its previously announced Series B funding round to $60 million, a sign that investors believe demand for cloud-based mobility platforms will grow as more companies try to scale up car-sharing, ride-hailing and even robotaxi businesses. The company, which has developed a platform designed to help car-sharing, ride-sharing and autonomous technology companies manage their vehicles, announced it raised $28 million in May. Activate Capital led this round; its co-founder and managing director Raj Atluru has joined RideCell’s board. Reinsurance group Munich Re’s […]

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China’s Nio invests in LiDAR startup Innovusion

Innovusion, a two-year-old startup developing LiDAR sensor technology for autonomous vehicles, has raised $30 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Chinese firms Nio Capital and Eight Roads Ventures along with U.S.-based F-Prime Capital. Other seed round and strategic investors joined the round, the startup said. Nio Capital is the venture arm of Nio, the Chinese electric automaker aiming to compete with Tesla. Nio, which raised $1 billion when it debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in September, has operations in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, although it only sells […]

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Online used car startup Shift raises $140 million

Shift Technologies, an online marketplace for used cars, has closed a Series D financing round of more than $140 million in equity and debt. The round, which consists of about $70 million in debt and $71 million in equity, was led by automotive retailer Lithia Motors. Bryan DeBoer, CEO and president of Lithia, will join Shift’s board of directors. Previous investors Alliance Ventures, BMW iVentures, DCM, DFJ, G2VP, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners and Highland Capital also participated. This new capital brings Shift’s total financing of equity and debt to […]

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Carmera, the mapping startup for autonomous vehicles, raises $20 million

Autonomous vehicles need more than a brain to operate safely in a world filled with obstacles. They need maps. Or more specifically, self-driving vehicles need maps that constantly refresh and can deliver important information — like that sudden lane closure due to construction or a double-parked vehicle — so they can take the safest and most efficient route possible. This specific need has provided an opening for startups in what once looked like a locked-up mapping market dominated by a few giants. Carmera, a New York-based mapping and […]

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A new unicorn is born: Root Insurance raises $100 million for a $1 billion valuation

Root Insurance, an Ohio-based car insurance startup with a tech twist, said Wednesday it has raised $100 million in a Series D funding round led by Tiger Global Management, pushing the company’s valuation to $1 billion.  Redpoint Ventures, Ribbit Capital and Scale Venture Partners all participated as follow-on investors in this latest round. The car insurance company, founded in 2015, plans to use the funds to expand into existing markets and make inroads into new states, as well as hire more employees such as engineers, actuaries, claims and […]

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Self-driving truck startup Kodiak Robotics raises $40 million

In Don Burnette and Paz Eshel’s view, trucking is the killer app for self-driving technology. It’s what led Burnette to leave the Google self-driving project and co-found Otto in early 2016, along with Anthony Levandowski, Lior Ron and Claire Delaunay. And it’s what would eventually prompt Burnette to leave Uber — the company that acquired Otto — and co-found with former venture capitalist Eshel a new driverless-trucks startup called Kodiak Robotics. “It was no secret that Uber was primarily focused on the car project and 80 to 90 percent […]

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Scale, whose army of humans annotate raw data to train self-driving and other AI systems, nabs $18M

The artificial intelligence revolution is underway in the world of technology, but as it turns out, some of the most faithful foot soldiers are still humans. A startup called Scale, which works with a team of contractors who examine and categorise visual data to train AI systems in a two-sided marketplace model, announced that it has raised an additional $18 million in a Series B round. The aim will be to expand Scale’s business to become — in the words of CEO Alexandr Wang, the 21-year-old MIT […]

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Self-driving car startup Zoox is raising $500 million at a $3.2 billion valuation

Zoox, a once-secretive self-driving car startup, is closing a $500 million raise at a $3.2 billion post-money valuation, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Prior to the deal, Zoox was valued at $2.7 billion, Zoox confirmed to TechCrunch. The round, led by Mike Cannon-Brookes of Grok Ventures, brings its total amount of funding to $800 million. Zoox’s plan, according to Bloomberg, is to publicly deploy autonomous vehicles by 2020 in the form of its own ride-hailing service. The cars themselves will be all-electric and fully autonomous. Meanwhile, ride-hail companies like […]

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