South Korea’s autonomous transportation-as-a-service startup CODE42 has raised $25 million (KRW 30 billion) in its pre-Series A funding round led by Kia Motors, marking one of the largest investments in the Korean startup space.
Other investors who participated in the current round include Korean conglomerates SK Group, LG and CJ. As the lead investor, Kia Motors infused as much as $12.5 million capital in CODE42, according to an announcement.
The corpus raised will be used by the startup to build its core UMOS (Urban Mobility Operating System) platform, as well as establish the global autonomous transportation-as-a-service ecosystem UMOS Connect.
CODE42 previously raised seed capital worth $1.7 million (KRW 2 billion) from Hyundai Motor Company in March.
“The investment…..enables us to leverage the strength of our partners’ infrastructure and service capabilities to establish a next-generation mobility and logistics service platform,” said Chang-Hyeon Song, CODE42 founder and CEO, who was earlier the CTO of Naver.
“We will be working closely with investor companies in autonomous driving and mapping technology, dispatching, fleet management, next-generation in-vehicle infotainment and associated connectivity,” he added.
Of late, South Korean automakers have been making venture investments in ride-hailing startups and self-driving software producers.
Hyundai Motor Group and Dublin-headquartered auto technology firm Aptiv in September said they are creating a 50:50 autonomous driving joint venture valued at $4 billion.
In June, Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors said they would invest in self-driving car software startup Aurora to speed up the development of autonomous vehicle technologies. Earlier, the two automakers also announced an investment of $300 million in Indian ride-hailing company Ola.
Last year, Southeast Asia’s ride-hailing major Grab pulled in $250 million from automaker Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, bringing the total funds raised in an ongoing Series H round to $2.7 billion.