Autonomous Vehicle Company Pony.ai Closes Its Series D at $8.5B Valuation

The company saddled up in 2016 and has since launched multiple self-driving vehicle pilots in both the United States and China.

Written by Jeremy Porr
Published on Mar. 07, 2022
Autonomous Vehicle Company Pony.ai Closes Its Series D at $8.5B Valuation
The company saddled up in 2016 and has since launched multiple self-driving vehicle pilots in both the United States and China.
PHOTO: PONY.AI

Pony.ai, a giant in the robotaxi space, announced Monday that it closed its Series D round. Although the company didn’t disclose the amount raised, the fresh injection of capital sent its valuation soaring to $8.5 billion. 

Pony saddled up in 2016 and has since launched multiple self-driving vehicle pilots in both the United States and China. The latest raise for the Fremont-based company is its first since 2020. At the time, Pony closed on a $267 million Series C at a $5.3 billion valuation. 

“From 2020 to the end of 2021, our key safety metrics increased tremendously, such that in most circumstances Pony.ai’s virtual driver is now equal to or superior to a human driver,” Tiancheng Lou, co-founder and CTO of Pony.ai, said in a statement. “We’re confident in our autonomous vehicle tech readiness as we rapidly scale.” 

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Pony creates autonomous driving tech for a wide range of vehicles, from all-electric robotaxis to long-distance freight trucks. Following the latest raise, the company plans to invest heavily in the mass production and commercialization of said vehicles. The investment will ultimately help Pony open numerous vehicle testing and operation sites around the world by the end of the year.

With a fresh permit in hand, courtesy of the California Public Utilities Commission, Pony has already begun testing its tech in Fremont and Irvine. The company has also hit the ground running in four major Chinese cities — Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou.

Pony is now hiring for two dozen roles spanning its engineering, operations and product departments. The company has raised $1.1 billion in venture capital financing to date, according to Crunchbase.

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