Autonomous Driving Startup Company Momenta Raises $500 Million From Toyota, Bosch, and SAIC Motor

By McKenzie Carpenter Friday, March 19, 2021

While traditional vehicles remain supreme, electric vehicles (EVs) are making headway in the auto industry. In addition, there are startups and businesses working on autonomous vehicles. One such startup company that provides AI software for this market is Momenta, which recently raised $500 million from some big-name investors.

Inside view of an autonomous car.

About Momenta

Momenta is a Chinese software startup company that uses AI algorithms and applies them to developing autonomous driving cars. The business states that it is “building the brain for autonomous driving” with several software features that protect drivers.

The AI technology allows the business to gather data and mapping information so that autonomous vehicles avoid obstacles such as other vehicles or people. The AI software startup company claims nearly 1.2 million people die each year due to traffic accidents, and high volumes of traffic congestion in urban cities does not help the problem. The business is currently testing its AI-powered vehicles in Beijing and Suzhou.

Momenta is up against some tough competition as Tesla rules the autonomous driving AI software and EV market. In an interview with TechCrunch, founder and CEO of the startup company, Cao Xudong, said, “The auto industry needs to develop more advantages when confronting Tesla’s marketing today, so they are paying more attention to autonomous driving.”

To date, the AI software business has raised $700 million from several different investment rounds and numerous investors. The most recent funding round resulted in Momenta raising $500 million. This massive funding round not only makes it the largest investment for the startup company but also for any autonomous driving business in China.

Momenta’s New Financing

The $500 million financing round is backed by some notable investors, including Toyota, SAIC Motor, and Bosch. Additionally, Daimler AG — owner of luxury car company Mercedes-Benz — Temasek, Yunfeng Capital, and Tencent were all investors. A valuation for the AI software startup company was not disclosed.

Xudong said, “This round of financing marks an important new milestone for the company on the path to integrating our technology on vehicles worldwide.”

With the new funding, Momenta plans to expand its workforce and gather more data to improve future AI technologies.

Other Autonomous Vehicles Industry News

Despite possible hesitation from consumers, traditional car companies are investing more and more resources into EVs and now autonomous vehicles.

Pony.ai is another autonomous vehicles competitor to Momenta. In November, Startup Savant reported the car company raised $267 million, resulting in more than $1 billion raised total for the business. Pony.ai has since gone on to raise an additional $100 million.

About the Author


Headshot of McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Related Articles