Category Archives: Automotive

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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Anthony Levandowski is back with a new self-driving startup, called Kache.ai

This is a comeback story. Or at least the first chapter to one. Anthony Levandowski, the former Google engineer and serial entrepreneur who was at the center of a trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, is back. And he is connected to an autonomous trucking company that is still in stealth mode, TechCrunch has learned. The company, called Kache.ai (pronounced like cache), has kept a low profile since paperwork registering it as a corporation was first filed with the California Secretary of State nearly seven months […]

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