Monday, January 15, 2018

Pony.ai raises $112M for autonomous driving - former Baidu and Google X

Pony.ai, a start-up based in Fremont, California with R&D in Beijing, announced $112 million in venture funding for its autonomous driving solutions.

The Series A funding was co-led by Morningside Venture Capital and Legend Capital. Seed round lead-investor Sequoia China and investor IDG Capital also participated in the round, along with Hongtai Capital, Legend Star, Puhua Capital, Polaris Capital, DCM Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Silicon Valley Future Capital and other funding sources. Miracle Capital was the exclusive financial advisor in this round.

Pony.ai is headed by James Peng, co-founder and CEO, who was previously Chief Architect at Baidu, where he oversaw the technical direction of the autonomous driving division and other key areas such as big data and monetization platforms. Dr. Peng started his career at Google after earning a PhD from Stanford University, and he also holds a BS degree from Tsinghua University. Tiancheng Lou, co-founder and CTO, worked on autonomous driving at both Google X (before it became Waymo) and Baidu.  Dr. Lou holds a BS and PhD in Computer Science from Tsinghua University.

Pony.ai is developing level 4 autonomous driving technology. Its test vehicles are already running on Bay area roads.

Pony.ai said it is also making considerable progress in Guangzhou, China, where it began testing its fleet of autonomous driving vehicles on public roads this past December.

“We are excited and honored to welcome our new group of investors to the team and are grateful for their support!” says co-founder and CEO, James Peng. “Autonomous driving has the potential to bring about massive benefits to society, and we hope to work closely with our outstanding investors to realize this future.” Co-founder and CTO, Tiancheng Lou, adds: “We very much look forward to working with our investors to achieve our mission of bringing the safest and the most reliable autonomous driving technology to market!”


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