San Diego-based self-driving truck company TuSimple has confirmed that it is looking for an investment worth $250 million as it plans to scale the business. To reach the target, the firm had asked for help from funding financial institution Morgan Stanley.
Founded in 2015 by Jianan Hao, Mo Chen, and Xiaodi Hou, TuSimple employs nearly 500 people. It has so far raised $298.1 million since its arrival. It counts names like Lavender Hill Capital, Mando Cooperation, UPS Ventures, CDH Investments, Composite Capital Management, Nvidia, Mando Company, SINA Corporation, and Zhiping capital among its investors. In its last funding, the firm had picked up $15 million in September last year.
Interestingly, TuSimple has not made any comment regarding the funding but it looks for the same as the competition in the segment keeps increasing. Notably, it was one of the first company which entered the segment while all the other players were interested in only the passenger cars and robotaxis.
Google-launched Otto which is now being owned by ride-hailing giant Uber is one such player along with Startups Embark and Starsky Robotics who are trying to run the race. However, TuSimple has been scaling really well even after the challenge from these players with the valuation going well over $1 billion. The support from the backers is overwhelming for the firm since its inception. Notably, the company also has its operations in China along with an R&D center in the country.
It claims to be doing 20 autonomous trips between Arizona and Texas every week. It has a fleet of around 40-50 autonomous trucks. In the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, it will be a timely capital infusion which the company is looking for and it has the reasons to raise the funds too. Let’s see by when Morgan Stanley manages to help them in raising the capital.
Image courtesy: Geospatial World