Self-driving technology developer DeepRoute.ai announced on Tuesday the completion of a Series B funding round at over $300 million, as the startup continues its commitment to advancing urban logistics and popularising robotaxis.
The oversubscribed round was led by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, with participation from Asia-based growth capital investor Jeneration Capital and a fund affiliated with automaker Geely. Returning investors Fosun RZ Capital, Yunqi Partners, and Glory Ventures backed the new round, said the startup.
With headquarters in China’s Shenzhen and Fremont, in the US, DeepRoute.ai develops medium-duty trucks under DeepRoute-LINK and robotaxis under the DeepRoute-INJOY divisions, while offering self-driving solutions to partners such as Chinese state-owned automaker Dongfeng Motor and Geely’s ride-hailing venture Cao Cao Mobility.
The startup plans to use the new funding to further R&D, expand collaboration with automakers, and recruit more talent. Its long-term strategy includes developing medium-duty trucks for urban logistics to help improve transit for shipments and freight delivery.
As the first in Shenzhen to open robotaxi services to the public, DeepRoute.ai has also received a Passenger Carry Permit from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) with preparations to offer such services in California later this year.
The startup currently has over 100 pick-up and drop-off points in Shenzhen. Following the COVID-19 outbreak in China, its self-driving fleet transported about 14,000 COVID-19 test samples per day to local hospitals in the city.
DeepRoute.ai aims to grow its robotaxi fleet to approximately 100 by the end of 2021, as interest in autonomous transportation and demand for affordable ride-hailing services increases, said the startup.
In October 2019, the startup raised $50 million in a Series Pre-A round led by Fosun RZ Capital. GoldenSand Capital, Yunqi Partners, Ventech China, and Green Pine Capital Partners (GPCP) participated in the previous deal.