China’s Kunlun Tech to invest $50m in autonomous driving startup Pony.ai

Shenzhen-listed Beijing Kunlun Tech has announced plans to invest $50 million in exchange for a 3 per cent stake in autonomous driving technology startup Pony.ai.

Pony.ai, co-founded by former Baidu executives, claims to be the first to offer fully self-driving car rides to the public in China. It did a soft launch of an autonomous ride-hailing fleet in Guangzhou in February 2018. It was also the first startup to secure an autonomous vehicle testing licence in Beijing.

“Autonomous driving has become an important branch of AI as the autonomous driving technology has greatly developed and is poised to disrupt the way people live and commute in the future,” Kunlun Tech said, according to a TechNode translation of a company statement in Chinese.

Pony.ai completed its Series A and A1 financing rounds in 2018, raising a total of $214 million. Backers included ClearVue Partners, Eight Roads, Sequoia Capital China, Morningside Ventures, DCM Ventures, Hongtai Capital, Green Pine Capital Partners, China Merchants Capital, Redpoint Ventures China, K11 founder Adrian Cheng and Delong Capital.

Pony.ai expects to grow its fleet from 20 to 100 vehicles in 2019, said the firm’s co-founder Jun Peng in an interview with CNBC earlier this year.

Instead of making its own cars, the company partners with local automobile groups like BYD Auto and GAC to provide AI solutions that turn their cars into driverless vehicles.

Beijing Kunlun Tech was established in 2008 and operates in the gaming industry.

Also Read:

Self-driving car startup Pony.ai raises $112m led by Legend Capital, Morningside

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.

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.