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HD Map Startup DeepMap Completes Series B Round, Raises $60 Million

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【Summary】Based on the company’s funding record, it is possible to see that DeepMap has started to gain traction in the autonomous driving sector after its Series A round in May 2016.

Michael Cheng    Nov 06, 2018 9:00 AM PT
HD Map Startup DeepMap Completes Series B Round, Raises $60 Million
author: Michael Cheng   

Startups specializing in HD maps for driverless vehicles are proliferating at a rapid pace, due to increased demand for such services. DeepMap, a company based in Palo Alto, is a company leading this aspect of the sector, as it helped create maps for Google, Baidu and Apple.

The startup recently completed a Series B funding round, with a valuation of $450 million. DeepMap will use the newly acquired funds to fuel expansion and hiring programs.

"DeepMap and Generation share the deeply-held belief that autonomous vehicles will lead to environmental and social benefits," said James Wu, CEO and Co-founder of DeepMap, in a statement.

Series B Details

To date, DeepMap has raised a total of $92 million. High-caliber venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and China-based GSR Ventures participated in all three funding rounds (Seed, Series A and Series B). Leveraging a fund valued at $2 billion, the latter group also has notable investments in transportation giant Didi Chuxing and ele.me. DeepMap described its latest funding round as "oversubscribed" at the point of closing, which suggests increased interest in the startup's services.

Based on the company's funding record, it is possible to see that DeepMap has started to gain traction in the autonomous driving sector after its Series A round in May 2016. Such growth can be seen in the wave of new participants during its latest financing round, including Robert Bosch Venture Capital, NVIDIA GPU Ventures and Generation Investment Management.

The business has partnered with the following automotive brands: Ford, SAIC Motor and Honda. DeepMap confirmed in a blog post that it is collaborating Tier 1 suppliers, OEMs and tech companies. It is currently looking for engineers to take on positions in Palo Alto and Beijing.

"We are delighted to work with the talented team at Generation. We consider Generation to be a value-added investor, whose insights and mission-aligned network will be of great advantage as we scale, especially in Europe," said Wu.

Filling the Self-driving Gap with Maps

DeepMap's expertise entails products and services related to HD maps, such as software solutions, hardware, data monitoring features, data collection services and data translation. Instead of a static mapping database, the startup takes an "always updated" approach to HD maps, via its cloud-based technology stack. At the moment, it is developing a data-ownership model that enables end-customers to own underlying data generated during operation.

The company's maps are very accurate and provide numerous information about the vehicle's environment in real-time, including intersections, street signs, traffic restrictions, lanes and more. Its services are designed for developing L4 and L5 autonomous vehicles.

According to an update from Wu, the startup's mapping platform has been stress tested in a wide range of complex scenarios, such as dense canyons, tunnels, rough weather (rain and snow) and indoor locations with limited GPS access.

"Maps explicitly designed to be read by machines are a critical enabling technology for safe autonomy. DeepMap fills a vacuum in the market," said Dr. Ingo Ramesohl, Managing Director at Robert Bosch Venture Capital.

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