DeepMap, a maker of HD maps for self-driving, raised no less than $60M at a $450M valuation

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As automotive and tech corporations proceed to make inroads on autos and providers to construct autonomous driving techniques, a startup that’s creating high-definition maps to assist these autos transfer round has quietly picked up a big spherical of funding.

DeepMap — a Palo Alto startup co-founded by James Wu and Mark Wheeler, who beforehand helped construct maps and extra at Google, Apple and Baidu — has raised a big spherical of progress funding at a valuation of no less than $475 million to develop its expertise stack and its attain into extra markets past its present footprint of the U.S. and China.

Based in 2016, DeepMap has been comparatively quiet since elevating $25 million in 2017, however information about this spherical has been trickling out for the previous few months. In July, the corporate filed papers for a $60 million Sequence B spherical. In August, it noted that Nvidia had joined the spherical, which by that time was “oversubscribed” however nonetheless not closed.

And at this time, Technology Funding Administration — the VC agency that counts former Vice President Al Gore and others amongst its co-founders — additionally confirmed that it’s a part of that Sequence B, together with earlier buyers Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Companions and GSR Ventures, and new investor Robert Bosch Enterprise Capital. PitchBook notes that the spherical places the valuation of DeepMap at $450 million post-money. Nevertheless, with Technology added to the combo, each the dimensions of the Sequence B and the valuation could be greater.

We’ve requested and Technology and DeepMap are usually not disclosing these particulars, however they’ve stated that the funding is being made as a result of the pursuits of the startup are in keeping with that of the VC.

“DeepMap and Technology share the deeply-held perception that autonomous autos will result in environmental and social advantages,” stated Wu, who’s the CEO of DeepMap (Wheeler is the CTO), in a press release. “We’re delighted to work with the proficient crew at Technology. We take into account Technology to be a value-added investor, whose insights and mission-aligned community shall be of nice benefit as we scale, particularly in Europe.”

DeepMap shouldn’t be precisely in stealth mode, but it surely additionally doesn’t disclose a lot about what it’s engaged on particularly, nor how the funding shall be used. (However it’s hiring, principally in engineering roles, in Palo Alto and Beijing.)

Firms like Waymo are expanding their autonomous driving tests, Lyft is buying companies to assist ingest extra driving knowledge extra simply and simply this week Baidu announced new automotive plans with Volvo and Ford, however there are nonetheless some essential items that should be put in place for self-driving to develop into a wide-scale actuality, and certainly one of them is constructing techniques which have an correct studying of the roads they’re driving on.

HD mapping will play a key function in that regard, serving to make techniques extra correct with real-time localization options that reply to street sorts and driving situations. DeepMap says that it gives centimeter-specific accuracy utilizing “real-world knowledge, not fashions” and the power to include 3D landmark options and full 3D environments utilizing “true LiDAR depth and RGB values knowledge” for simulation instruments.

Whereas DeepMap doesn’t element its merchandise on its web site, one report describes its providing as together with {hardware} instruments, software program options, subject knowledge assortment providers, and a service that is ready to translate the self-driving fleet knowledge that corporations are actually within the technique of accumulating “into their very own customized HD maps.” The identical report claimed that DeepMap prices about $5,000 per kilometer for mapping providers within the U.S.

DeepMap can also be not the one firm engaged on addressing this want for higher and extra correct mapping: mapping startup Digicam can also be elevating cash to construct its service; DeepMap’s investor Nvidia can also be engaged on this drawback; and lvl5 is one other title we’ve additionally seen talked about on this context.

The funding, and these partnerships, will probably assist DeepMap cement its place on the map, so to talk, as all of those proceed to develop.

“DeepMap is completely positioned to deal with the approaching wants of autonomous autos. These autos would require HD maps and localization modules that are real-time, scalable, economically-viable, and machine-readable, one thing which DeepMap can ship by means of its distinctive method,” stated Lilly Wollman, co-head of Technology’s Progress Fairness crew, in a press release. “We’re very excited to companion with probably the most technically spectacular and skilled groups within the business.”

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