Swedish self-driving start-up Einride raises $110 million
LONDON, 6 MAY (Reuters) — Einride, a Swedish electric self-driving car startup, announced on Thursday that it has secured $110 million in its latest funding round, which includes new contributions from Maersk’s venture capital arm and Singapore state investor Temasek.
This takes Einride’s overall funding to $150 million, and the new funds will be used to ramp up deployments of the start-up’s significant consumers in Europe and the United States.
The Einride Pod, an electric self-driving truck without a driver cabin, was created by the firm a few years ago and among Einride’s clients are Coca-Cola Co. and Electrolux.
According to CEO Robert Falck, Einride has between 10 and 20 vehicles and plans to use the funds to get five to six times as many running, mostly in the United States. He refused to provide a detailed estimate for the venture, but stated that it is close to $1 billion.
Self-driving technology for freight trucks has piqued the interest of investors because it can be faster and less expensive to implement than self-driving vehicles and robotaxis, while still offering a smoother route to profitability.
“Long-term investors are really looking for that opportunity to make this shift happen,” says Falck.
Self-driving freight services operate on fixed routes between predefined points, mostly on major highways without intersections or pedestrians, requiring less mapping than robotaxis, which shuttles passengers between random points.
TuSimple Holdings Inc expects to demonstrate its self-driving truck system in the fourth quarter using semi-trucks without human drivers.
Torc Robotics, a subsidiary of Daimler AG, is planning to test self-driving vehicles in New Mexico and Virginia.
Northzone, a Nordic venture capital group, is also among Einride’s new partners.
“We agree that both electric and autonomous freight will be the future of freight,” said Jessica Schultz, a Northzone general partner. “We believe the economy has reached a tipping point, where you will see a big shift to first electric and then autonomous.”
Article originally published by Reuters with reporting by Nick Carey and Supantha Mukherjee; Editing by Steve Orlofsky.
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