Pony.ai at $5.3 Billion Valuation after Recent Funding…

The new $5.3 billion valuation is a significant increase from the $3 billion reported by Pony.ai in February.

Chinese autonomous car firm Pony.ai has secured $267 million in another round of funding that brings its valuation to $5.3 billion. In total, the autonomous-automobile firm has raised $1 billion through funding.

According to a CNBC report, it was a fund run by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board that led the investment. Notably, other investors of Pony.ai also participated in the financing.

In a press release, the CEO of Pony.ai James Peng said:

“With new investments that support our growth and deepened partnerships with our existing investors, we are quickly advancing toward future mobility and bringing autonomous vehicle technology to the global market.”

Pony.ai Valuation Is Growing

The new $5.3 billion valuation is a significant increase from the $3 billion reported in February. At that time, the driverless car manufacturer raised $463 million through funding. Out of the secured fund, Toyota single-handedly invested $400 million.

In 2019, Pony.ai and Toyota entered a partnership to speed up the development of autonomous driving. As noted in a press release by Pony.ai, the $400 million from Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM) is an extension of the business partnership. Before now, the autonomous vehicle firm has been conducting pilot tests for its driverless vehicles. However, the testing process is guided by regulations that require a human driver behind the wheel. 

When the coronavirus pandemic started, some experts predicted that the health crisis would accelerate autonomous vehicles’ adoption. VentureBeat said in a report that driverless cars can be another means of curbing the spread of the coronavirus. 

Furthermore, the report showed a survey from Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE) that said three out of four Americans believe it is not the time for driverless cars. On its official website, PAVE said 60% of Americans trust automated vehicles more, provided they understand the technology.

Pony.ai and Its Competitors

Recently, Pony.ai competitor Waymo was also issued a permit to test in some Silicon Valley cities. Apart from Pony.ai and Waymo, Zoox and Autox Technologies also got permits to participate in the pilot program. 

In a recent report by CNBC, US-based management consulting firm McKinsey has predicted electric vehicles’ (EV) dominance by 2030. McKinsey said that a third or almost half of all Vehicles that would be sold in China and Europe would be EV. 

In December 2018, Pony.ai launched a “robotaxi” service in Guangzhou that allows users to order an autonomous taxi through an app. At the time of the launch, only Pony.ai employees and few executive users had access to the free service. 

Before the beginning of the global health crisis, Pony.ai planned to launch the robotaxi service in Fremont and Irvine, California. However, the company paused the launch plans in March due to the pandemic. Instead, the Chinese autonomous car firm launched a delivery service using its autonomous cars. 

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