The self-driving cars startup Zoox has raised a whopping $500 million in the latest Series B round of funding. The company was founded in 2014 and has operated in stealth mode ever since. Founded by Australian entrepreneur Tim Kentley-Klay and American Jesse Levinson, the round of funding was led by Mike Cannon-Brookes, Aussie billionaire and co-founder of Atlassian, the Australian enterprise software company and was also supported by Blackbird Ventures.
This round of funding propels the startup to an evaluation of $3.2 billion. The company plans to use a significant portion of its newly acquired resources in recruiting new talent. It has posted advertisements for numerous developer jobs and various roles. “To raise that amount of capital in a company that is pre-revenue, pre-product, and pre-customer is pretty unprecedented. It speaks to the quality of the theme and the vision we have here and what we’ve been able to achieve,” said Tim Kently-Klay.
Mike Cannon-Brookes is reported to have pumped in over $100 million of his own money into the startup. He announced his immense contribution on Twitter, where he called Zoox as “the most ambitious company I’ve ever met”. Brookes has joined the company as a member of its board.
Zoox plans to launch its fleet of self-driven cars by 2020 through its own ride-hailing service. Additionally, all the cars will be electric. The autonomous vehicles sphere is an extremely crowded one with some of the largest software and technology corporations on the planet vying for the maximum market share.