H2 2021 recap: financial activity in the automated driving industry

Private and public companies

Mohsen Khalkhali


NASDAQ: AUR as at 3-Jan-2021

Last year was a special time for the self-driving industry as two pure play self-driving companies went public in a record year for SPACs and IPOs. Aurora and TuSimple, both public companies, have market caps of $12.9B and $7.7B respectively.

Combined with all the lidar companies that went public earlier in 2021, this indicates a healthy and bright financial future for the industry in the public markets.

There were numerous announcements of private financing rounds in the second half of the year:

  • Dec 27. Chinese AV startup Haomo raises $157M Series A. Led by GL Ventures.
  • Dec 14. Apex.AI, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based autonomous system developer for self-driving vehicles, raised $56.5 million in Series B funding led by Orillion and was joined by investors including ZF, Continental AG, AGCO, Canaan, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Airbus Ventures, and InMotion Ventures.
  • Nov 10. Kodiak Robotics, a California-based autonomous truck company, raised $125 million in Series B funding. Investors include SIP Global Partners, Muirwoods Ventures, Harpoon Ventures, StepStone Group, Gopher Asset Management, Walleye Capital, and Aliya Capital Partners.
  • Nov 5. Momenta, Chinese autonomous driving company, raised $200 million in additional Series C funding. Investors include SAIC Capital and Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital.
  • Nov 2. 42dot, a South Korea-based autonomous vehicle company, raised $88.5 million in Series A funding. Investors include Shinhan Financial Group, Lotte Rental, Lotte Ventures, STIC Ventures, We Ventures, and DA Value Investment.
  • Nov 2. UK AV startup Wayve raises $13M led by Ocado.
  • Sep 14. Chinese AV startup DeepRoute.ai raises $300 million led by Alibaba.
  • Aug 4. Inceptio Technology, a Shanghai-based autonomous driving truck tech company, raised $270 million in Series B funding. JD Logistics, Meituan, and PAG led the round and were joined by investors including Deppon Express, IDG Capital, CMB International, SDIC, Mirae Asset, Eight Roads, and Broad Vision Funds.
  • Jul 2. Ghost, a Mountain View…