Toyota-backed startup Pony.ai raises $267 million in new funding round

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Pony.ai, backed by Toyota Motor Corp, said on Friday it raised $267 million in the initial phase of its latest funding round at $5.3 billion valuation, as the self-driving startup seeks to boost its presence in the United States and China.

The latest funding, which comes just eight months after the company’s $462 million fundraising, makes Pony.ai one of the most valuable independent autonomous driving startups, with higher valuation than rivals Aurora and Nuro, according to data provider Pitchbook.

The investment comes at a time when global automakers, technology firms, startups and investors – including Tesla, Alphabet Inc’s Waymo and Uber – are pouring capital into developing self-driving vehicles.

The funding was led by Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board’s (Ontario Teachers’) Teachers’ Innovation Platform (OTPP), Pony.ai said in a statement.

Fremont-based Pony.ai, which is also backed by Sequoia Capital China and Beijing Kunlun Tech Co, plans to use the funding to develop technology and expand its fleet.Read more. Reuters News

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