TuSimple Secures Extra $120 Million in Funding to Refine Driverless Trucks

TuSimple Self-driving Trucks (Source: TuSimple)

San Diego-based self-driving truck startup TuSimple, announced on September 17 that its Series D round had secured an additional $120 million. The company raised $95 million in Series D funding in February led by Sina, the creator of Chinese micro-blogging platform Weibo, bringing its total fundraising round to $215 million.

New participants in the round include CDH Investments,Lavender Capital, Tier 1 supplier Mando Corporation, as well as a the package giant UPS, who secured a minority stake.

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“TuSimple continues to impress the automotive and investor community with its progress towards creating the world’s first commercial self-driving truck solution,” Mando CFO Jae Chung said in a statement. “TuSimple’s technology is at a pivotal point for maturity and it has huge market potential, which is why we wanted to deepen our relationship with TuSimple and become a strategic investor.”

TuSimple made headlines earlier this year when investors pegged the startup’s valuation at $1 billion, making it one of the few San Diego-based software unicorns. The startup has more than 50 autonomous trucks that operate with a safety driver and an engineer in the cabin, and more than 18 contracted customers including UPS, USPS and Amazon.

The new funds will go towards the development of autonomous vehicle technology and expanding long-haul routes in Arizona and Texas. The company aims to have the engineer and driver out of TuSimple trucks by 2021 and then to have those truly autonomous trucks available on the market by 2023.