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Einride, a developer of electric, autonomous trucks, raised $110 million in Series B funding today. New investors Temasek, Soros Fund Management, Northzone, Maersk Growth and Build Capital led the round. Existing investors EQT Ventures, Plum Alley Investments, Norrsken VC, Ericsson and NordicNinja VC also participated. It should be noted that Moller-Maersk is the world’s largest shipper.
Einride said it will use the Series B funding to scale deployments with customers in Europe and the U.S. Founded in 2016, Einride also raised $10 million in 2020 and $25 million in 2019. It has raised a total of about $150 million.
Einride is developing two types of vehicles. The first are connected, electric heavy trucks driven by humans that are used by Coca-Cola, Oatly, Lidl and Electrolux. The other, and perhaps what the company is best known for, is the Einride Pod, an autonomous truck that doesn’t have a cab and can be remotely controlled.
The Einride Pod are available with different levels of autonomy, ranging from Autonomous Electric Transport (AET) 1-4. The AET-1 and 2 are available now, while Einride said the level 3 and 4 models will start shipping to customers in 2022-2023. Here is a quick break down of the different Einride Pods:
- AET-1: Designed for ports, depots, warehouse facilities, and other closed areas with predetermined routes and schedules
- AET-2: Designed for transport facilities with nearby delivery needs. This Pod traverses short routes on public roads between nearby destinations automatically.
- AET-3: Designed for back roads and less crowded main routes
- AET-4: Designed for high-speed operation on major roads and highways between shipping destinations
Einride CEO Robert Falck told Reuters that the company has between 10-20 vehicles and aims to use the funding to have 5-6 times as many operating, mostly in the United States. He declined to give a specific valuation for the company but said it is approaching $1 billion.
Autonomous trucks for freight transport continue to grow in popularity, while the self-driving car market continues to consolidate. These types of trucks require less mapping and should encounter fewer edge cases than robotaxis, for example.
TuSimple recently raised $1 billion in its IPO, while Plus in March extended its latest funding round to $400 million, raising its total amount of capital raised to about $620 million since it was founded in 2016. And Daimler AG unit Torc Robotics is preparing to test its autonomous trucks in New Mexico and Virginia.
Falck said Einride will have operations up and running in the U.S. before the end of 2021. It’s looking to locate its headquarters in Austin, Texas, with satellite offices in New York and Silicon Valley,