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    A005380   KR7005380001

HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY

(A005380)
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Autonomous driving startup Pony.ai raises $462 million in Toyota-led funding

02/25/2020 | 11:19pm EDT
Staff members are seen at the Halloween-decorated reception area of the Chinese self-driving startup Pony.ai headquarters in Guangzhou

Autonomous driving firm Pony.ai said on Wednesday it has raised $462 million in its latest funding round, led by an investment by Japan's largest automaker Toyota Motor Corp.

Toyota invested around $400 million in the round, Pony.ai said in a statement, marking its biggest investment in an autonomous driving company with a Chinese background.

The latest fundraising values the three-year-old firm, already backed by Sequoia Capital China and Beijing Kunlun Tech Co, at slightly more than $3 billion.

Reuters reported the funding earlier on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The sources added that some of Pony.ai's existing investors had joined the financing, but did not specify names.

The investment by Toyota comes at a time when global car makers, technology firms, start-ups and investors - including Tesla, Alphabet Inc's Waymo and Uber - are pouring capital into developing self-driving vehicles.

Over the past two years, 323 deals related to autonomous cars raised a total of $14.6 billion worldwide, according to data provider PitchBook, even amid concerns about the technology given its high cost and complexity.

The Silicon Valley-based startup Pony.ai - co-founded by CEO James Peng, a former executive at China's Baidu, and chief technology officer Lou Tiancheng, a former Google and Baidu engineer - is already testing autonomous vehicles in California, Beijing and Guangzhou.

The firm is focusing on achieving "Level 4", or fully autonomous standards, in which the car can handle all aspects of driving in most circumstances with no human intervention.

The latest funding will support Pony.ai's future robotaxi operations and technology development, one of the sources said.

Pony.ai, which has partnerships with automakers Hyundai and GAC, said it will explore "further possibilities on mobility services" with Toyota.

Pony.ai is not the first time that Toyota, which sold more than 10 million cars globally last year, has invested in firms focused on autonomous driving and mobility services.

Its autonomous vehicle partnerships include a venture with SoftBank Corp and an investment in robotaxi developer Uber ATG. Last year, it invested $600 million in Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing and a new joint venture to develop mobility services.

However the Japanese car maker, which has researched into autonomous driving technologies mostly through in-house engineers and this year will launch its first vehicle with autonomous highway driving capabilities, has been lagging rivals in bringing self-driving cars to market.

It has taken a long view towards the technology, saying it will take decades for cars to drive themselves on roads.

(Reporting by Julie Zhu and Yilei Sun, additional reporting by Norihiko Shirouzu and Naomi Tajitsu; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

By Julie Zhu and Yilei Sun


ę Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
ALPHABET INC. -0.84% 2428.39 Delayed Quote.38.56%
AT HOME GROUP INC. -1.11% 35.71 Delayed Quote.130.98%
BAIDU, INC. -1.86% 186.3 Delayed Quote.-13.85%
BEIJING KUNLUN TECH CO., LTD. -2.89% 18.17 End-of-day quote.-8.92%
BYD COMPANY LIMITED 4.66% 224.4 End-of-day quote.10.43%
HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY -0.42% 237000 End-of-day quote.23.44%
SOFTBANK CORP. 0.78% 1423.5 End-of-day quote.10.09%
SOFTBANK GROUP CORP. -0.17% 8042 End-of-day quote.-0.20%
TESLA, INC. -2.97% 599.36 Delayed Quote.-15.07%
TOYOTA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION 1.03% 9800 End-of-day quote.19.66%
TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION 1.77% 10075 End-of-day quote.26.62%
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Financials
Sales 2021 116 453 B 104 B 104 B
Net income 2021 5 697 B 5,10 B 5,10 B
Net Debt 2021 70 410 B 63,0 B 63,0 B
P/E ratio 2021 10,3x
Yield 2021 1,67%
Capitalization 50 184 B 44 873 M 44 915 M
EV / Sales 2021 1,04x
EV / Sales 2022 0,93x
Nbr of Employees 70 388
Free-Float 70,8%
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Number of Analysts 30
Average target price 305 896,55 KRW
Last Close Price 237 000,00 KRW
Spread / Highest target 43,5%
Spread / Average Target 29,1%
Spread / Lowest Target -40,9%
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Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Eui-Sun Chung Vice Chairman & Co-Chief Executive Officer
Albert Biermann Co-President & Director
Eon-Tae Ha Co-President & Director
Moon-Sik Kwon Vice Chairman-Executive Board, Head-R&D
Byung-gook Lee Independent Director
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