The autonomous driving company Momenta announced on October 18th that it has completed a new round of financing. The current round mainly comes from leading strategic investors, including Tencent, China Merchants Capital, Guoxin Investment, Oriza Holdings and CCB International. Historic investors such as Good Capital Group or NioCapital also contributed to this round.
Momenta has completed more than $200 million in financing so far and its valuation is more than $1 billion, making it the most valued startup and first unicorn in the Chinese autonomous driving landscape. Cathay Innovation is an early backer of Momenta and has led the B2 round.
Momenta CEO Xudong CAO said: “Momenta was founded in September 2016 and we are committed to ‘build the brain for autonomous driving’. This new round of financing is a very important strategic step for the company”.
Denis Barrier, co-founder and CEO of Cathay Innovation said: “We are living an industrial revolution in the car industry, transport and mobility, through which new players are emerging. Along with this new round Momenta has recently achieved significant milestones on the technical side and has started enjoying significant traction with leading customers. And we are proud to count a new unicorn among our portfolio companies”.
In the past two years, the company has completed three phases of development. The first phase is the construction of the underlying infrastructure platform. The second phase is to establish environmental awareness, high-precision maps and a series of software algorithms such as driving decision planning based on the underlying platform. The third phase is the formation of autonomous driving solutions in different scenarios and levels, including in parking, highways and urban loops.
Momenta also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Suzhou government in April this year. The company will establish a large-scale test fleet in Suzhou to promote full L4 autonomous driving and contribute to the smart city construction in Suzhou. Based on its proprietary technologies and solutions, Momenta is today working the world’s renowned automakers and tier one companies and has already started developing its business overseas.
Since its creation, Momenta has hired some of the world’s top experts in computer vision and deep learning, including one of the authors of Faster R-CNN and ResNet, the most influential framework in image recognition, as well as winners of ImageNet 2015, ImageNet2017 and MS COCO Challenge 2015. The team has also experienced rapid growth in the past two years, with developers currently accounting for more than 80% of a global team of more of 700.