After years of frenzy, activity in the self-driving car industry has stagnated somewhat recently, but some of the most promising companies continue to grow their businesses and attract investment along the way. . In one of the recent developments, OxboticaUK start-up that develops the software that drives self-driving cars has raised $140 million in a Series C round. The funds will be used to continue building services for existing clients and to power new business in the future.
The size of the round is by any measure large, but it shows that AI startups in particular are doing well so far. It also shows the types of companies looking to work with and support start-ups that are breaking new ground in the field of autonomous driving.
Oxbotica’s base model is B2B, 8 years old and based in Oxford, England. The company sells and customizes autonomous software called “Universal Autonomy” for various enterprise customers. The premise is that its flexible technology can be used for navigation, perception, user interface, fleet management, or other functions required to run self-driving vehicles in multiple environments, regardless of the hardware or integration used. It’s about being able to enhance anything a customer needs, including functionality. Other software used by customers.
Highlighting its traction on that premise, this latest funding comes from a mix of investors, including some of these strategic backers and clients. Japan’s Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. and ENEOS Innovation Partners, the corporate VC for mining conglomerate Eneos, are among his new investors. Previous backers of the round include BGF, safety equipment group Halma, hospitality and recreation investor Hostplus, climate fund Kiko Ventures (IP Group), online shopping company Ocado Group, internet giant Tencent and Venture Science. , which includes auto parts manufacturer ZF. Several of these companies also invested in Oxbotica’s final Series B round. January 2021 $47 million.
This round brings Oxbotica’s total funding to $225 million. The startup hasn’t disclosed its valuation, but the company’s CTO and co-founder, Paul Newman, said the company is one of the heavily funded autonomous startups right now. We pointed out the current appetite for artificial intelligence startups building applications. Centered on their innovations, they contribute to healthy numbers.
“It should be in an area that investors value very highly,” he said. At a moment when companies, consumers, investors and startups themselves are re-evaluating things like self-driving technology through a more pragmatic lens and questioning unit economics and commercial and technical viability, Oxbotica Application of autonomy where the world needs it.”
It also led to much shorter conversations with investors. It’s the sort of thing that isn’t commonly done in other sectors of technology. “It didn’t take long for us to show that we could solve what we really needed and what we could solve that wasn’t a problem at all,” added CEO Gavin Jackson. “It was a difference that investors immediately understood within the first 30 seconds of us talking to them.”
In fact, some of the more ambitious consumer self-driving car initiatives include: shelving Also faced Several tragic accidentwhere hiring humans to navigate vehicles is more dangerous and/or inefficient, campus-style closed environments are some of the most popular use cases for building autonomous systems. It became clear what was going on.
In addition to strategic investor industries, other use cases for which Oxbotica is building services include agriculture, airports, energy and passenger transport sharing.
I can’t say that things are perfect. Some (and probably all) actual commercial deployments appear to be fairly medium- to long-term. One of the big milestones this year is that in May 2022 we ran Europe’s first zero occupancy trial (note the word trial) on a publicly accessible road. We also worked on “metaverse-based testing” and forged partnerships with insurance companies.
Newman admits to speaking in an interview that it’s a “problem” that still needs to be addressed in the highly complex world of building self-driving cars and automated systems.
“It’s exciting to be able to connect fleet management to our operating system,” he told me. Thanks to that, when something is resolved, it is resolved for everyone. The mining company’s need to integrate Oxbotica with their systems to dispatch drivers to the mine is the same as Ocado needs to connect its delivery vehicles.
In the meantime, the amount it has proven has convinced customers and backers that it is no longer a question of “if”, but of when this happens.
Mitsuru Yamaguchi, Senior Managing Executive Officer of Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance said, “Oxbotica stands apart from its competitors thanks to its ambitious vision to unlock universal autonomy.” with our unique and pioneering expertise in the telematics insurance space, resulting in innovative insurance products and services that create a safer, greener and more secure society for all. We have a system in place to develop
Erin Hallock, Managing Partner of bp Ventures, said: “Our continued support is a great example of bp Ventures’ continued investment in innovative technology companies. We believe we can support bp’s ambition to increase efficiency and accelerate the global revolution in mobility.”