DeepRoute, a Level 4 self-driving vehicle startup that operates out of research centers in Shenzhen, Beijing, and Silicon Valley, recently raised $50 million in pre-Series A funding. DeepRoute, which launched in February 2019, said it has employees who used to work at leading technology companies such as Baidu, Google, Cruise, Ford, GM, Huawei, Intel, Microsoft, and Tencent.
DeepRoute will use the funding to accelerate the development of its autonomous vehicle technologies. It is offering a full-stack solution to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). DeepRoute will support vehicle platooning technology to leading OEMs and provide a robo-taxi service with China’s second-largest automaker, Dongfeng Motor, at the upcoming Military World Games.
“Our team is very excited about the most recent round of funding we have received and how these funds will help further the advancement of autonomous vehicles on our roads,” said Shuang Gao, CEO of DeepRoute. “Our ongoing research and development of industry technologies will continue to prioritize the safety and security of the public as we strive to bring full vehicle autonomy worldwide.”
DeepRoute’s funding round was led by Fosun RZ Capital, the Beijing-based venture arm of Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. Other investors that participated in the round include GoldenSand Capital, Yunqi Partners, Ventech China, and Green Pine Capital Partners.
Notable Autonomous Vehicle Investments Sept. 2019
|TuSimple Inc.||215||Series D||Self-driving trucks|
|AutoX||100||Series A||Self-driving cars|
|Embark Trucks||70||Series C||Self-driving trucks|
|Volocopter GmbH||55||Series C||Autonomous flying taxis|
|DeepRoute.ai||50||Pre-Series A||Autonomous vechile tech|
|Applied Intuition||40||Series B||Self-driving simulation|
|Built Robtics||33||Series B||Autonomous Bulldozers|
|Voyage Auto||31||Series B||Self-driving cars|
Keep an eye on Chinese autonomous vehicles companies. The Chinese government recently released a series of key tasks to strengthen China’s transport system, and it included autonomous driving and smart connected vehicles.
DeepRoute’s reported ties to Roadstar.ai
According to multiple Chinese media outlets, DeepRoute was formed in part by Zhou Guang, former Founder and Chief Scientist at Roadstar.ai. Roadstar ranked 10th in the recent disengagement report released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles with a rate of one disengagement every 175 miles (282 kilometers). This trailed fellow Chinese AV companies Pony.ai, Baidu, and AutoX.
However, after raising $140 million in funding, Roadstar’s management team had a well-documented feud. CEO Tong Xianqiao and CTO Heng Ling accused Zhou of accepting kickbacks during fundraising and using fraudulent data in a government regulatory report. Zhou was fired, but has denied all the allegations. Roadstar was reportedly liquidated in March.