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100 Autonomous Vehicle Startups Worth Knowing

Before Covid-19, the autonomous vehicle industry was the new Silicon Valley-BLACK. Top VCs were pouring billions of dollars into AV Startups. According to McKinsey’s 2019 report on mobility investments:

The investment in the tech players of the automotive domain has increased strongly and has outpaced the incumbents. 

Even traditional automaker giants, who hardly prefer investing in inorganic moves are investing in these startups to catch the tide. A few examples are Toyota Motors, General Motors, Volkswagen, Ford, etc. It’s very likely that soon our commute will be free of human drivers.

At that time, the prospect of AV had a positive connotation. Then Covid-19 happened and now the world economy is going down at a fast pace. We thought to check the condition of the AV startups.

In Sep 2022, we started by checking all these 100 AV startups that we collected in past to figure out if any of these started got acquired or got more investment funding.

And after the analysis, we found that out of 100, 17 startups have got acquired, including some big such as Zoox’s acquisition by Amazon

We still haven’t removed them and you can find these startups in the list below along with the company that acquired them. 

Some other startups have got more investment. In the last two years, these startups collectively collect $13 billion in funding. 

Can’t say that the autonomous vehicle industry is going forward with full force but it is going forward. And these startups are doing amazing work though the progress is slow. There is still plenty of fish in the pond and the list could help you get one or two. 

List of Autonomous Vehicle startups

Sr. No.StartupInvestment FundingTop InvestorsTotal PatentsEstablished Year
1Cruise (Acquired by General Motors)$15.1 BillionGeneral Motors, Walmart, Softbank, Honda3702013
2Lucid Motors (Acquired by Churchill Capital Corp IV)$6.8 BillionSaudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund4062007
3NIO$5.4 BillionTencent, Baidu, Hefei City Construction and Investment39402014
4Oxbotica$89.5 MillionBP Ventures, Ocado Group, IP Group32014
5Luminar$1 BillionVolvo Cars Tech Fund, Daimler Trucks North America, Moore Strategic Ventures, Van Tuyl Group1792012
6Voyage (Acquired by Cruise)$51.2 MillionFranklin Templeton Investments02017
7Argo AI$3.6 BillionFord, Volkswagen1302016
8Arrival$629.4 MillionHyundai, BlackRock Innovation Capital2002015
9Aeva$368.5 MillionSylebra Capital, Canaan Partners, Lux Capital252017
10Xpeng Motors$5.7 BillionAlibaba Group, Foxconn Technology Group, IDG Capital, UCAR, Primavera Capital Group, Xiaomi22322014
11TuSimple$648.1 MillionSINA Corporation, CDH Investment, VectoIQ LLC, Navistar8412005
12Plus$520 MillionGuotai Junan International, CPE Capital, ClearVue Partners, FountainVest Partners2502016
13Innoviz Technologies$482 MillionAptiv, Magna International, China Merchants Capital, Shenzhen Capital Group712016
14Zoox (Acquired by Amazon)$1 BillionGrok Ventures, Blackbird Ventures, Lux Capital6562014
15Momenta$1.2 BillionBosch, SAIC Motor, Toyota Motor, NIO Capital2942016
16Otonomo$231.5 MillionAptiv, SK Holdings, NTT DOCOMO Ventures132015
17Baraja$63.9 MillionMain Sequence Ventures, Sequoia Capital China, Blackbird Ventures652015
18Optimus Ride (Acquired by Magna International)$76 MillionGreycroft, FirstMark, NextView Ventures92015
19Nuro$2.1 BillionSoftBank Vision Fund, T. Rowe Price, Gaorong Capital, Greylock1352016
20Affectiva (Acquired by Smart Eye)$62.6 MillionAptiv, Pegasus Tech Ventures, Horizons Ventures, Kleiner Perkins1952009
21Superpedestrian$136.7 MillionSpark Capital, General Catalyst, Edison Partners472012
22Ouster$232 MillionCox Enterprises, Runway Growth Capital1452015
23Nauto$173.9 MillionGeneral Motors Ventures, Playground Global, Greylock, SoftBank Vision Fund602015
24Mobileye (Acquired by Intel)$515 MillionGoldman Sachs8081999
25Ridecell$134.8 MillionBMW i Ventures, Cox Automotive, FortRoss Ventures32009
26Waymo$5.5 BillionAlphabet, Silver Lake, Tiger Global Management25882009
27Ghost$157 MillionSutter Hill Ventures172017
28AirMap (Acquired by DroneUp)$78.7 MillionM12, US Department of Defense82014
29Embark Trucks$117.1 MillionSequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management02015
30AutoX$160.1 MillionDongfeng Motor Group, Hongzhao Fund62016
31DeepMap (Acquired by NVIDIA)$92 MillionRobert Bosch Venture Capital, Accel1272016
32May Mobility$194.6 MillionToyota Motor, BMW i Ventures, Toyota AI Ventures112017
33Zendrive$57 MillionBMW i Venture, ACME Capital, XL Innovate362013
34Nexar$149.5 MillionIbex Investors, Corner Ventures72015
35Quanergy Systems$175.3 MillionAptiv, Rising Tide, Samsung Ventures522012
36Arbe$54.7 MillionCatalyst Fund LP, 360 Capital, O.G. Tech, OurCrowd452015
37Brain Corp$161 MillionSoftBank Vision Fund, Qualcomm Ventures3002009
38Swift Navigation$98.8 MillionForest Baskett, Greg Papadopoulos, New Enterprise Associates, Eclipse Ventures142012
39Aurora$2.1 BillionSequoia Capita, Uber1642017
40Outrider$118 Million8VC, Koch Disruptive Technologies362017
41PrecisionHawk$136 MillionThird Point Ventures, Verizon Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners232010
42BYTON$1.2 BillionFAW Group, Fullshare Holdings, Suning.com, Marubeni, Tencent5752016
43Wheels$96.3 MillionDBL Partners, TDK Ventures02018
44Bossa Nova Robotics$97.6 MillionWRVI Capital, Paxion Capital Partners, Cota Capital432015
45WM Motor$4.9 BillionBaidu Capital, Tencent, SAIC Motor, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank6392015
46Ike (Acquired by Nuro)$52 MillionBain Capital Ventures02018
47Cepton Technologies$179.5 MillionKoito482016
48FiveAI (Acquired by Bosch)$78.7 MillionLakestar, Direct Line Insurance, Sistema_VC, Trustbridge Partners1122015
49ClearMotion$317.8 MillionJP Morgan, Franklin Templeton Investments3062009
50Pony.ai$1.1 BillionToyota Motor, ClearVue Partners, Eight Roads Ventures3072016
51Starsky Robotics$20.3 MillionShasta Ventures52016
52CARMERA (Acquired by Woven Planet)$27.1 MillionGV, Matrix Partners52015
53AImotive$67.6 MillionB Capital Group, Lead Ventures, Prime Ventures452015
54Local Motors$15.3 MillionAirbus Ventures, Mirai Creation Fund322007
55SEEVA Technologies$2.1 MillionTrucks Venture Capital172016
56Oryx Vision$67 MillionBessemer Venture Partners, Third Point Ventures, Walden Riverwood Ventures262009
57Humanising Autonomy$17.2 MillionAnthemis Group62017
58Wayve$456.6 MillionEclipse Ventures, Balderton Capital22017
59Kodiak Robotics$165 MillionBattery Ventures, CRV22018
60Einride$152.3 MillionEQT Ventures, NordicNinja VC, Norrsken VC222016
61WeRide$1.4 BillionZhengzhou Yutong Bus, Alliance Ventures, Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, ABC International, SenseTime1302017
62Enway (Acquired by Bucher Municipal)$6.6 MillionRedalpine52017
63Innovusion$278 MillionEight Roads Ventures, F-Prime Capital, NIO Capital732016
64Velodyne Lidar$575.2 MillionBaidu, Ford Motor Company, Hyundai Mobis2411983
65LeddarTech$347.5 MillionOSRAM1252007
66Aeye$314.1 MillionTaiwania Capital842013
67Sense Photonics (Acquired by Ouster)$48.1 MillionAcadia Woods Partners, Congruent Ventures762016
68Brightway Vision$25 MillionKoito, Magenta Venture Partners892010
69Foresight Automotive$25.2 MillionMeitav Investment House, Psagot Investment House282001
70SmarterEye$62 MillionBaidu's Apollo Fund1382014
71Blickfeld$56 MillionContinental, Wachstumsfonds Bayern992017
72Seoul Robotics$18.1 MillionKB Investment, KDB Capital102017
73Mirada Technologies$1.7 MillionNational Science Foundation52017
74Newsight Imaging$7 MillionInfinity Equity102016
75TetraVue$10 MillionNautilus Venture Partners, Robert Bosch Venture Capital302008
76Autotalks$100 MillionIsraeli institutions, Nuvoton Technology342008
77Valerann$22.8 Million2B Angels, Rio Ventures142016
78Commsignia$11 MillionKarma Ventures, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Credo Ventures02012
79Derq$3.6 MillionTechstars Mobility Accelerator, Wadi Makkah Ventures162016
80Cohda Wireless$1.8 MillionSciVentures Investments1212004
81Savari (Acquired by Harman International)$20 MillionAviva Ventures, SAIC Venture Capital02008
82HAAS Alert$8.4 MillionU.S. Department of Homeland Security, TechNexus Venture Collaborative02015
83Veniam (Acquired by Nexar)$26.9 MillionTrue Ventures, Verizon Ventures2362012
84RoboCV$3.7 MillionLETA Capital, GVA Capital12012
85Sinoits$7.1 MillionSeashell Capital, Qualcomm Ventures202010
86Dynamic Map Platform¥24.7 BillionMitsubishi Electric, Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, Hino Motors192016
87Tier IV$309.3 MillionSompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Quanta Computer02015
88Ascent Robotics$11.1 MillionSBI Investment52016
89Ficha$3.5 MillionDesay SV Automotive, Nippon Venture Capital42005
90ZMP$22.9 MillionHisashi Taniguchi, Sony872001
91Lumotive LLC-Gates Ventures, Quan Technology Fund92018
92TriLumina Corp. (Acquired by Lumentum)$9 MillionKickstart872011
93Nodar$12 MillionMassChallenge, Rhapsody Venture Partners02018
94RideFlux₩29.2 Billion-172018
95Speareye--02017
96Traffica--02017
97Chorus Mobility--02017
98Kingwaytek Technology--651998
99Turing Drive--02018
100Scantinel Photonics€7.5 Million-12019

Conclusion

It’s time to stop guessing which company will come out on top when it comes to self-driving car technology. McKinsey estimates that securing a strong position in the four trends (AV, CV2X, EV, and Smart Mobility)of this area would cost a single player an estimated $70 billion through 2030.

It’s doubtful for any individual startup or company to shoulder this level of investment alone. This is why partnerships and targeted acquisitions offer an attractive strategy for staying ahead of competitors. Plus, analyzing their patents offer another lens on the market dynamics with a whole new perspective.

Startup scouting is not as straightforward as going through a list of names. A lot of factors come into play before you start looking for research partners, or find ways to acquire innovation from other companies to solve your challenges.

Are you in a similar position where you need help in solving your technical challenges or finding research inspiration? Let’s get in touch and we’ll help you find the answers. 

Further, want to download the list for later use, just fill out the form below and it’s all yours. (Trust me, it’s worth saving, you can thank us later.)

Authored By: Vipin Singh and Nidhi, Market research

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