Chinese autonomous driving solution provider Pony.ai has reported an additional US$102 million in Series A1 funding — just six months after scoring US$112 million — to bring its Series A total to US$214 million.
The latest funding was co-led by ClearVue Partners and Eight Roads (part of Fidelity International). Other investors include Green Pine Capital Partners, China Merchants Capital, Redpoint Ventures China, Delong Capital, and Adrian Cheng (鄭志剛, founder of K11 Art Foundation). Previous investors Sequoia Capital China, Morningside Venture Capital, DCM Ventures partners and Hongtai Capital also participated.
The company says the funding moves it “close to” a US$1 billion post-money valuation, which elevates Pony.ai to the verge of becoming China’s first publicly disclosed self-driving unicorn.
Pony.ai was founded in 2016 by Tiancheng Lou (formerly with Google’s self-driving car team) and James Peng (former Baidu Chief Architect). The company focuses on self-driving solutions and has offices and development teams in Silicon Valley, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Pony.ai says it plans to use this round of funding to recruit talents, expand its autonomous vehicle fleets, and develop partnerships in the US and China to explore the commercialization of self-driving cars.
Last week Pony.ai secured its T3 autonomous vehicle testing license in Beijing, allowing it to test autonomous vehicles on the Chinese capital’s public roads. Back in February Pony.ai put an autonomous ride-sharing fleet into service in Guangzhou, making it “the first company to offer self-driving car rides on city roads to the general public in China,” according to a company press release.
Author: Mos Zhang | Editor: Michael Sarazen