Autonomous cars are fast-approaching, and so are those building the platforms that will help operate them. Today, Pony.ai — the startup whose autonomous driving platform powers the first fully self-driving fleet in China — has raised $102 million in funding — a follow-on round that comes about seven months after its previous $112 million Series A. The funding — co-led by China’s ClearVue Partners and Eight Roads (which is part of Fidelity International) — is catapulting Pony.ai into unicorn territory: the company said that it takes it to “close to” a $1 billion post-money valuation. Other new investors include Green Pine Capital Partners, China Merchants Capital, Redpoint Ventures China, Adrian Cheng (Founder of K11), and Delong Capital, and previous investors Sequoia Capital China, Morningside Ventures, DCM Ventures, and Hongtai Capital also participated. The funding will be used to expand its business with more partnerships, hiring, and perhaps most importantly to continue expanding its testing and training in multiple locations. “I truly believe the next major challenge for autonomous cars will be small and medium scale deployment—this is an absolutely critical step to validating the system’s overall stability and reliability. We are grateful for the new and continued support in helping us… Read full this story
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