Guotai Junan leads $200m funding in Sequoia-backed truck startup PlusAI

Chinese self-driving truck startup PlusAI, Inc., has raked in $200 million in a new funding round to accelerate its global expansion plans.

An earlier Bloomberg report in August 2019 had pegged the valuation of PlusAI at over $1 billion.

The round has been led by Guotai Junan International Holdings, with participation from new investors namely CITIC Private Equity Funds Management (CPE) and Wanxiang International Investment.

A slew of existing investors re-upped in the transaction – these include Sequoia Capital China, US global venture capital firm Mayfield Fund, SoftBank-backed Chinese long-haul truck major Full Truck Alliance (FTA), Lightspeed China Partners, early-stage focused GSR Ventures, state-backed SAIC Motor, and China Growth Capital, the investee said in a WeChat post.

PlusAI will invest the proceeds to expedite its mass production of large-scale autonomous trucks.

With R&D centres across Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou, PlusAI specializes in using full-stack self-driving technology to develop commercial trucks. Co-founded by CEO David Liu in 2016, the startup has successfully conducted road tests in the US and China.

Previously in 2018, Sequoia Capital China along with FTA and GSR invested an undisclosed sum in PlusAI’s Series A+ round to help deliver 1,000 trucks by the end of 2020.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.