Plus (formerly Plus.ai), a provider of self-driving truck technology, announced it has completed a $200 million round of funding led by new investors Guotai Junan International, CPE, and Wanxiang International Investment. Existing investors including Full Truck Alliance (FTA) also participated.
Plus plans to use the new funds to accelerate the global commercialization and deployment of its automated trucking system. As the company begins mass production in 2021, Plus will develop a sales and support network to help fleets integrate the Plus automated trucking system into their daily operations. The company will also scale deployments in the U.S. and China, and expand internationally to Europe and other parts of Asia. Growing the talented engineering team will also allow Plus to continue the development of its cutting-edge automated driving technology.
“Trucking accidents and growing truck driver shortage affect our economy and daily lives. All of us at Plus are inspired every day to develop automated trucks that are going to make our world safer and greener, and help fleets drive more fuel efficiently and reduce operating costs,” said David Liu, CEO and Co-founder, Plus. “The additional funding and continued support of our investors will help us further scale our commercialization efforts, enabling us to serve fleets in more countries.”
The top tier investor base backing Plus speaks volumes about the company’s business and technology achievements and plans. Guotai Junan International is a Hong Kong-listed leading investment bank that has also invested in other innovative technology companies. CPE is a leading private equity investment firm which has backed a number of mobility companies. Wanxiang is one of China’s top automotive components suppliers. Existing investors GSR Ventures, Sequoia, China Growth Capital, Lightspeed, and Mayfield are top venture capital firms. Strategic investors include SAIC Capital, the investment arm of China’s largest carmaker SAIC Motor Co., and FTA, world’s largest trucking platform serving over 10 million truckers and five million shippers.
Since its founding in 2016, Plus has developed key partnerships that has enabled the company to forge a clear path to commercialization. Its key milestones include:
- First to start mass production of its self-driving system, which will begin in 2021 with the world’s largest heavy-truck manufacturer, FAW
- Pilots with some of world’s largest logistics providers, with pre-orders of its automated driving system from these early pilot partners
- A joint venture with FAW to jointly develop China’s next generation of commercial vehicles, and be its exclusive provider of autonomous trucking technology
- First to complete a cross-country commercial freight run in the U.S. using an autonomous truck with Land O’Lakes
- First to adopt the safety-certified Blackberry QNX operating system for an automated trucking system
- First to put its automated driving system through independent testing, which is being conducted by North America’s largest independent vehicle test facility and proving grounds
Automated trucks powered by the Plus automated driving system will start mass production this year, and over 10,000 units have been pre-ordered. In the next few years, Plus expects to have its automated driving system deployed on tens of thousands of trucks across the U.S., China, and Europe.