Self-driving startup 42dot launches new funding round Korean TaaS startup backed by Hyundai Motor Group aims to raise $87 million
이 기사는 2021년 07월 23일 07:22 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.South Korean autonomous driving technology startup 42dot Inc, backed by Hyundai Motor Group, has launched a new funding round with a target of raising 100 billion won ($86.8 million).
Existing backers and new investors are set to participate in the round, with some of them already entering into investment agreements with the company last week, industry sources said on Wednesday.
The company, originally named CODE42.ai, was founded in 2019 by chief executive Song Chang-hyeon, an entrepreneur and software expert who previously worked at Apple, Microsoft and Naver.
42dot’s key business is autonomous driving solutions, with integrated mobility and logistics platform UMOS at the center of its transportation-as-a-service (TaaS) technology. TaaS, which refers to a shift from car ownership to service-based transportation, is considered the next stage of the evolution of mobility. 42dot develops technology that integrates a range of mobility services such as self-driving vehicles, drones and delivery robots.
The company counts Hyundai Motor and Kia, part of Hyundai Motor Group, as its main investors. In April 2019, Hyundai Motor invested 2 billion won to secure an 11.45% stake in 42dot. Kia invested 15 billion won, or a 14.32% stake, in the company in September the same year.
Other existing investors include SK Telecom, LG Uplus, CJ, LIG Nex1, KTB Network, Shinhan Bank and IMM Investment. Among those to have decided to participate in the new funding are CJ, LIG Nex1, KTB Network and IMM Investment. Shinhan Financial Group will also put additional funds into the company through Shinhan Capital.
New investors include car rental company Lotte Rental, which will invest about 25 billion won, and several other financial investors. Existing shareholders who have yet to decide on whether to invest additionally in the company are expected to finalize their decisions before the end of this month.
42dot’s innovative technology is the most important factor that attracts investors. The company first publicly unveiled its autonomous driving technology in an event called UMOS Day on Tuesday.
The fact that Hyundai Motor and Kia are 42dot’s key investors is another reason for strong funding interest. Hyundai Motor Group in April announced that it had formed a TaaS division to oversee its mobility businesses and appointed Song to lead the division, a move that signifies the conglomerate’s belief in 42dot’s technology.
The strategic partnership with Hyundai Motor Group is also crucial to 42dot’s growth story. The conglomerate is one of the top five automakers in the world and also invested in many mobility companies at home and abroad, including US ride-hailing giant Uber and Southeast Asian ride-hailing service Grab, with which 42dot can create synergy. (Reporting by Gyoung-tae Kim)
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