Investors’ passion for driverless cars is riding high. Pony.ai a Fremont based company with operations in the US and Chian, secured a massive $462 million in fresh funding - $400 million of which came from auto manufacturing giant Toyota.
The capital infusion brings the startup’s total raised to about $800 million at a valuation north of $3 billion, following previous venture rounds just shy of $265 million in total. The two companies said they’ll “further advance joint efforts” as Pony works to integrate its autonomous system with Toyota’s Lexus RX platform and technologies ahead of driverless pilots in Shanghai and Beijing.
The crypto wallet and security startup CoolBitX raised a cool $16.7 million in a round led by Japanese financial group SBI Holdings, along with the National Development Fund of Taiwan, Korean crypto exchange BitSonic and Japanese financial firm Monex.
In 2020, the startup’s focus seems set on new products and features that comply with new rules from the Financial Action Task Force that require businesses to collect and pass information about customers when transferring funds between firms.
After the collapse of the Initial Coin offering fundraising model and other subsequent attempts to sell tokens directly through exchanges, it appears that the more traditional investment avenues are going to dominate 2020.
Pet Plate, a NYC-based subscription service in the fresh pet food industry, has raised $9m in Series A funding. The round was led by DFE Capital Management and 301 INC, the venture capital arm of General Mills.
The new funding will be used to expand the company’s product offering, including new recipes, organic treats, and nutritional supplements to offer a holistic solution for online shoppers. Pet Plate will expand its team and corporate infrastructure to scale the business and expand its customer base. With people spending more and more on premium products for their pets, this industry is anything but Just ‘For the dogs.'
Lucy Goods, Inc., a Los Angeles, CA-based nicotine alternative company, completed a 10M Series A financing. The round was led by RRE Ventures with participation from FundRX, Vice Ventures as well as existing investors Greycroft Partners and YCombinator.
The company plans to use the funds to create new products, like new flavors of gum and to expand its presence in physical retail locations and try to take a slice of the market currently dominated by vaping products, most notably the Juul e-cigarette. With Regulators cracking down on the sale of vapeware because of health risks, gum may be the alternative for quitters.