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Self-Driving Trucking Startup Taps U.S., Chinese Investors

Self-Driving Trucking Startup Taps U.S., Chinese Investors

Self-driving trucking startup PlusAI Inc. raised $200 million in fresh capital from investors including several top-tier Silicon Valley venture-capita

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Self-driving trucking startup PlusAI Inc. raised $200 million in fresh capital from investors including several top-tier Silicon Valley venture-capital firms as well as a Chinese investment firm and automotive companies.

The funding will help the Cupertino, Calif.-based startup as it begins mass production of its self-driving systems this year and aims to fill thousands of preorders from Chinese fleets in a joint effort with Chinese truck manufacturer FAW Jiefang, part of state-owned FAW Group, Plus Chief Executive and co-founder David Liu said.

Plus will also use the capital to increase production for commercial shipments this year in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.

The funding comes as investors have fueled competitors in the autonomous vehicle sector while a crop of smaller self-driving startups stumbled last year amid the pandemic. Financing for the capital intensive sector has increasingly consolidated behind a select few as timelines for mass commercial implementation of the technology have been pushed out in recent years.

The Series B financing was led by Chinese investment firm Guotai Junan International Holdings Ltd. , which is based in Hong Kong; London-based venture firm Hedosophia; and Wanxiang International Investment, an investment division of the Chinese automotive components firm Wanxiang Group. Investors including Menlo Park, Calif.-based venture firms Sequoia Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners, as well as the venture arm of Chinese state-owned auto maker SAIC Motor Corp. , also participated in the deal.

This post first appeared on wsj.com

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