DeepRoute, a self-driving solutions provider, wins $300 million. This Series B fundraising campaign was announced on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, led by Alibaba with the participation of Jeneration Capital and other investment funds. A financial contribution that will primarily support research and development and strengthen its teams.
DeepRoute confirms that its self-driving vehicles have already covered 1.9 million kilometers on public roads. The startup recently opened an automated taxi service for Shenzhen residents, China. It also operates a service in Wuhan and has a permit issued by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to carry passengers in this US state. DeepRoute wants to expand its fleet of automated taxis to more than 150 vehicles by the end of the year.
Above all, with this new financial contribution, DeepRoute intends to embark on a new front: urban logistics. DeepRoute explains that it wants to develop a mid-size autonomous truck in order to improve freight transportation and package delivery. A strategy that may have caught the interest of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant.
The latter announced last June that it wanted to develop autonomous trucks in partnership with Cainiao, its subsidiary dedicated to logistics. The goal is to automate its logistics network using autonomous trucks and last-mile delivery robots. Amazon, its US competitor, is also interested in this segment of self-driving vehicles. The company has acquired startup Zoox, which is working on self-driving vehicles intended for shared mobility.
In China, many startups in the autonomous mobility sector are raising big money. Momenta raised $500 million, Pony.ai raised $667 million, and WeRide raised $200 million. The race to develop this technology is accelerating and pilot projects are proliferating in this country.
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