China’s Pony.ai raises $102m in funding round co-led by ClearVue, Eight Roads

Autonomous vehicle company Pony.ai has raised a $102-million investment co-led by ClearVue Partners and Eight Roads in a follow-on funding round after its $112-million Series A round six months ago.

Other new investors in the latest round, as announced in a statement, include Green Pine Capital Partners, China Merchants Capital, Redpoint Ventures China, Adrian Cheng (Founder of K11), and Delong Capital.

Existing investors DCM Ventures, Hongtai Capital, Sequoia Capital China and Morningside Ventures also joined the follow-on round.

Pony.ai, headquartered in China and the US, provides software algorithms and infrastructure for self-driving cars. It claims to have tripled its team since the Series A funding round, which was co-led by Morningside Venture Capital and Legend Capital.

In February, Pony.ai became the first company in China to offer fully self-driving car rides to the general public with the soft launch of its autonomous ride-hailing fleet in Guangzhou. To date, the fleet has already given over a thousand rides covering an area of roughly 30 kilometers.

In addition to fleet expansion, team growth, and supporting existing and new partnerships, this round of capital will be used to accelerate Pony.ai’s entry into commercialization.

Commenting on the new investment, Pony.ai CEO James Peng said: “I truly believe the next major challenge for autonomous cars will be small and medium scale deployment—this is an absolutely critical step to validating the system’s overall stability and reliability. We are grateful for the new and continued support in helping us to achieve this future.”

Last month, Pony.ai became the first startup to secure a T3 autonomous vehicle testing license – the highest level license issued in the country to date – in Beijing.

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