Toyota-backed autonomous vehicle startup Pony.ai has raised $267 million in its series C funding, pushing its valuation to $5.3 billion as it pursues wider use of its self-driving system.
The round was led by the Teachers’ Innovation Platform, a tech-focused investment vehicle of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, and was joined by its existing investors including Fidelity China Special Situations PLC, 5Y Capital, Clearvue Capital and Eight Roads, Pony.ai said in a WeChat post on Friday.
The fresh capital will be used to expand the startup’s business and bring its self-driving technology to the global market, Pony.ai founder and CEO Peng Jun said.
During the third China International Import Expo on Friday, 4-year-old Pony.ai announced the launch of the first production line for its Level 4 self-driving hardware and software system named PonyAlpha X. According to Peng, the system will initially power some Lexus RX 450h cars, which will be used in his company’s self-driving car tests and pilot services in China.
Pony.ai, which is based in California and has research and development centers in Silicon Valley, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, tests its self-driving technology and operates its pilot “robotaxi” service named PonyPilot in the U.S. and China. The company is also working with logistics firms to explore autonomous delivery.
Pony.ai said the latest funding has raised its total to more than $1 billion, with Toyota investing $400 million in the firm in February.
Contact reporter Ding Yi (email@example.com)