Autonomous Vehicle Startup Pony.ai Raises $267M, Reaches $5.3B Valuation

Pony.ai has raised over $1 billion in funding to date. The funding will help the company achieve production at a larger scale.

Written by Gordon Gottsegen
Published on Nov. 06, 2020
Autonomous Vehicle Startup Pony.ai Raises $267M, Reaches $5.3B Valuation
Pony.ai self-driving car
Photo: Pony.ai

After many stops and starts, the self-driving car industry continues to move forward.

On Friday, Fremont-based autonomous vehicle startup Pony.ai announced that it raised $267 million in the initial round of its Series C. This brings the company’s total capital raised to over $1 billion and its valuation to $5.3 billion.

A handful of startups have been trying to figure out how to bring self-driving cars to widespread adoption, and Pony.ai is no exception. The company started in 2016 and has since launched multiple autonomous vehicle pilots in both the United States and China.

Although self-driving cars have been on the cutting edge for the past few years, they’ve been gaining momentum this year, since driverless cars mean one less potential point of infection during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pony.ai launched a program this year to use its autonomous fleet to deliver essential goods in California, distributing more than 15,000 packages so far. The company also has several robotaxi pilots in cities like Irvine and Beijing.

Programs like these help demonstrate the usefulness of self-driving cars, and are necessary steps to get the public on board.

This new round of funding will help Pony.ai grow its footprint and achieve production at a larger scale.

“Pony.ai is approaching its mission of delivering autonomous mobility everywhere by building technology that allows vehicles to drive safely on public roads,” CEO James Peng said in a statement. “With new investments that support our growth and deepened partnerships with our existing investors, we are quickly advancing toward future mobility and bringing autonomous vehicle technology to the global market.”

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