FiveAI raised $35 million for AI-based taxi services

FiveAI raised US$35 million to build a taxi service using self-driving cars. Startups headquartered in Cambridge, UK, have raised £14 million (US$18 million) of Serie A funding and a £12.8 million (US$17 million) UK government grant to build autonomous car systems and use AI-based platforms for transport services with an autonomous car taxi fleet.

Tinuku FiveAI raised $35 million for AI-based taxi services

The Series A funding is led by Lakestar Capital with the participation of Notion Capital, Amadeus Capital Partners and Kindred, while the UK government grants for the StreetWise project in collaboration with Transport for London, the Transport Research Laboratory, Oxford University, Direct Line insurer, and others.

The StreetWise project is a public collaboration work to develop self-driving car pilots in London to reduce traffic congestion and is scheduled for the first test by the end of 2019.

Funding of US$35 million is not as big as Zoox, Nutonomy, Uber, Bosch, Google, Apple and Baidu who have billions of dollars for the same work. But Founder and CEO of FiveAI, Stan Boland, says Europe needs its own startup in this field. The driving culture is completely different and Europe is not like the U.S. or Asia.

Dharmash Mistry from Lakestar Capital said FiveAI is an example where Britain has talent, ambition and market to build successful companies. Dense European cities present technical challenges, behaviors, regulations and infrastructure that are completely different from other regions.

To this day, FiveAI has not launched any products yet. Boland says it has three stages of the plan is to build an autonomous car platform, the second stage in the development of delivery systems, user experience and commercial launch. The third stage will be a big boost for market share.

"That's when we need to buy lots of cars, where FiveAI automation systems will be embedded, maybe at that time we need to collect huge sums of money, in the hundreds of millions or billions," Boland said.