Self-driving Car Startup, Zoox, Given $1.5 Billion Valuation

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Zoox Labs is a company that has managed to stay under the radar, but it has made major progress in its short two-year existence. The company, located in Silicon Valley, raised an additional $50 million to add to their total funding of $240 million.

The additional funding has raised the company’s value to $1.55 billion, according to recent reports.

The company has benefited from releasing little information. Remaining a mystery of sorts allows Zoox to keep their product’s secrets a secret to competitors. Many high-profile executives from Tesla, Apple and Alphabet have been brought into the company, too.

Jesse Levinson, a co-founder of the company, went to Stanford University and worked on the autonomous vehicle team. Tim Kentley-Klay, an Australian founder, is an animation designer.

The company formed with basic computer renderings of a futuristic sports car that was “sci-fi” in appearance. The company initially aimed to create self-driving vehicles for ride hailing companies.

The company’s latest funding round was led by Composite Capital, a Hong Kong hedge fund.

Zoox’s stealth operations have been revealed through the company’s presentations. The presentations hint at the company working on the artificial intelligence portion of self-driving vehicles more than models that will be on the road.

California authorities gave the company a green light in March to test self-driving vehicles on public roads.

The company’s vehicles are said to be void of luxuries, such as a steering wheel or forward windshield. The vehicles don’t need side mirrors either.

Zoox stated, “We actually want to optimise the architecture for machine vision, not human vision. And then we can also change the interior experience to optimise what we want to be doing, not for the business of having to sit behind a steering wheel.”

The startup’s future and potential are a mystery since the company has been mute on their advancements, but with so many investors piling money into the company, it will be interesting to see what products they’re developing.