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Kodiak Robotics receives US$40m in funding to automate long-haul trucking

Kodiak Robotics has obtained US$40m in series A financing led by global investment firm Battery Ventures. The startup developing AV technology for trucks was founded by ex-Uber/Otto software developer Don Burnette and former venture capitalist Paz Eshel.

Burnette and Eshel founded Kodiak Robotics to alleviate the current strain on the freight market through self-driving technology. In three months, the two have assembled a team of engineers with experience with self-driving vehicles on public roads.

The news of Burnette’s new company gaining funding comes just weeks after Uber announced it is halting its development of self-driving trucks, an operation that was born out of the Otto company that Burnette co-founded and that was bought by Uber in 2016.

The US$40m of funding comes largely from investment firm Battery Ventures, but CRV, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Tusk Ventures also participated in the financing round.

“This financing, coming just three months after founding Kodiak Robotics, is a huge validation for our vision,” Burnette said. “We believe self-driving trucks will likely be the first AVs to support a viable business model, and we are proud to have the support of such high-profile investors to help us execute on our plan.”

“Autonomous driving is likely one of the most major technology shifts of the last 100 years,” said Battery Ventures’ Itzik Parnafes. “We have been researching this trend for several years and feel confident we are backing an experienced, savvy team that can capitalize on the opportunity in a unique way.”

By Illya Verpraet

August 10, 2018

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