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Robotaxi startup valuation reaches $8.5bn in Series D-1 round

Robotaxi startup valuation reaches $8.5bn in Series D-1 round

U.S-based Chinese autonomous vehicle tech firm,, has reportedly stated that its valuation has reached $8.5 billion following the first closing of its latest Series D round.

The surge in valuation signifies that investors are continuing to bet big in self-driving cars while their mass deployment remains years away. was founded in 2016 and is one of the robotaxi startups that have a testing and operational presence in China as well as in the U.S., such as AutoX, WeRide, and Deeproute, and enjoys the backing of Toyota among its investors.

Up from its $5.3 billion valuation in late 2020, the new price tag comes as a relief for the firm from the hindrances faced last year. Many important members of its autonomous trucking unit had resigned and joined new rival businesses following management’s decision to merge Pony’s trucking and robotaxi teams.

Even though the startup’s trucking unit has been dissolved in the U.S., it has continued growing in China.

Last year in December, California, where the firm is based, suspended the startup’s driverless test permit due to a collision incident. The firm also had to unexpectedly halt its plan on listing in the U.S. due to China’s heightened regulatory scrutiny over tech firms, just after the startup had brought a former JPMorgan Chase executive onboard as its chief financial officer.

While building robotaxis is known for being a cash-intensive business, the startup stated that it is well-financed, adding that it is now close to $1 billion ‘balance sheet liquidity’ following its Series D-1 round.

The startup, which has not yet disclosed the total amount raised from the first close, said it will provide more information after the entire round closes.

James Peng, co-founder and CEO,, said that the fresh capital will be used in technical development and balance sheet strength in order to expand its hiring this year, advance on its strategic partnerships and rapidly grow its fleet by opening up new testing and operation sites worldwide.

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Sunil Jha

Sunil Jha has been a part of the content industry for close to two years. Having previously worked as a voice over artist and sportswriter, he now focuses on writing articles for, across a slew of topics, ranging from technology to trade and finance. With a business-oriented educational background, Sunil brings forth the expertise of deep-dive research and a strategic approach in his write ups.