TechCrunch has confirmed reports that auto startup Zoox is raising about $200 million at a $1 billion valuation. We’ve also learned that investors Lux Capital and DFJ are involved in the round.
The Palo Alto-based startup founded by Tim Kentley-Klay and Jesse Levinson, has been deliberately quiet about what they are working on presumably for competitive reasons, but the Zoox team has been working on autonomous vehicles for a few years now.
Zoox is said to be building technology that could compete with Google’s self-driving cars and Cruise Automation, which was recently acquired by GM.
Zoox made an appearance at the LA auto show in 2013. Then these renderings of a “Boz” design emerged, lacking windshields, to emphasize the car’s autonomy.
Sources tells us that Zoox is more than a car that simply steers itself, but that every aspect of the car has been reinvented. They think that they have proprietary technology that could help them compete with Tesla.
As the technology improves with self-driving cars, there has been talk that Uber-like services will be purely automated. Significant investment has been poured into automotive startups, and traditional automakers, which have been slow to innovate, are likely to continue making acquisitions in the space.
We have reached out to Zoox for comment.