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8 November 2017

Optimus Ride accelerates to raise $18m

The autonomous vehicle technology developer, spun out of MIT, has secured $18m in series A funding to increase its vehicle fleet and expand its team.

Author: Sam McCaffrey, Reporter

Optimus Ride, a US-based driverless vehicle technology developer spun out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has closed an $18m series A round led by venture capital firm Greycroft Partners.

VC firm Fraser McCombs Capital, philanthropic organisation Emerson Collective and Joi Ito, director at interdisciplinary research laboratory MIT Media Lab, also contributed to the round.

Optimus Ride is developing a fully autonomous system for fleets of electric vehicles. The degree of automation, known as level 4 in the industry, means cars require no interaction from the driver unless special circumstances apply, such as driving through a restricted area.

The company received permission in June this year to test its vehicles on the roads of the US city of Boston. It will use the funding to increase its vehicle fleet and expand its team.

In October, venture capital firms NextView Ventures and FirstMark Capital co-led a $5.25m seed round in the spinout, with participation from graphics chip maker Nvidia, Joi Ito, Greycroft Partners, Morado Venture Partners, Haystack and Uj Ventures.

Ryan Chin, chief executive of Optimus Ride, said: "My colleagues and I are extremely proud of what we have accomplished to date and recognise that the industry is just scratching the surface of the powerful long-term benefits of driverless vehicles.

"Having the financial backing and guidance of Greycroft and our other venture partners will help us to harness our passion and execute our ultimate vision even more rapidly."

– A version of this article first appeared on our sister site, Global Corporate Venturing.

Supporting articles: Optimus Ride chases $5.25m

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