Drive.ai Growth and Acceleration — Series B

Drive.ai, we’re building the brain of the self-driving vehicle. We started Drive.ai because we believe there’s a real opportunity to make our roads, our families, and our communities safer. We also believe that self-driving vehicles will be the efficiency engine of the transportation network. To achieve this as soon as possible, we are focusing on the essential software components to make self-driving a reality.

Joining the Drive.ai Team
Today, we are proud to announce our $50 million Series B funding round. Led by NEA with participation from GGV and existing investors, this milestone is an affirmation of our team, our technology, and our business model. NEA’s global presence and leadership will bolster drive.ai’s vision.

In addition to the financial support, we are proud to welcome two new members to Drive.ai’s Board of Directors: Carmen Chang of NEA, and AI pioneer Andrew Ng. Having brokered many influential technology and business partnerships among global companies, Carmen Chang will be an invaluable addition as we continue to expand internationally. Also, as a world renowned deep learning expert and entrepreneur, Andrew Ng brings unique insight to autonomous driving technology and strategy.

Carmen Chang (left) and Andrew Ng (right)

Deep Learning First
Drive.ai is a deep-learning first company, providing a more nuanced and context-based self-driving solution. We will dedicate much of this funding to scaling our technology. We have the technology to power this new era, and an important vision to make autonomous vehicles a reality. With our new funding, here is how we plan to introduce self-driving to the world:

The Enterprise Solution
There is a clear, rapid, and global rise in the on-demand economy. We view self-driving as a way to make the on-demand economy an affordable and level playing field for businesses of all kinds. From food and package delivery, to rideshare companies, we’re looking to use our technology to mobilize the enterprise. Autonomous delivery is a means to empower businesses and make their goods and services more accessible than ever. To that end, we’ve grown Drive.ai to be the enterprise solution for self-driving; our partnerships are the means to make this solution widely available.

Global Release
Self-driving is a global undertaking which we haven’t seen since the space race, and we aim to win. Speed and scale matter. Our solution needs to work as seamlessly as in New York as it does in Sydney. This is why we have established a global perspective from the beginning — from our team’s talent to our investors to our partners.

While our goal is to build a product that scales quickly, we believe that autonomous vehicles will not be a comprehensive solution that works everywhere in the world from day one. We are introducing our self-driving solution in geo-fenced areas of the world and will update and expand our autonomous driving coverage over time. This is analogous to the telecom industry, where early cell phone carriers rolled out their coverage in stages. Our partnerships and initial customers are businesses. We are beginning with a turnkey solution for business owners, which includes a retrofit kit that works with multiple vehicle makes and models. In the future our system optimizes for variable environments, geographies, and even OEM and tier one partnerships.

Welcome to Your Self-Driving Future
With this funding and board expansion, we are moving forward with drive.ai’s growth, and building on the achievements we’ve accomplished thus far. From being one of the first startups in California to receive an autonomous vehicle testing permit, to having a fleet of vehicles of varying sizes that can drive autonomously on a rainy night, we are proudly ushering in a safer self-driving future, transforming the relationship between humans and transportation.


Company Timeline:
* April 2015: founded. $50K seed fund
* Jan 2016: $12M Series A
* March 2016: 1st office move
* April 2016: CA autonomous test license received
* May 2017: 2nd Office move
* June 2017: $50M Series B

We’re hiring! https://www.drive.ai/careers