Ike, a startup working on self-driving trucks, has managed to raise $52 million in Series A funding round which was led by Bain Capital Ventures. Other investors include Redpoint Ventures, Basis Set Ventures, Neo and Fontinalis Partners. Ajay Agarwal, Bain Capital Ventures partner, also reportedly joined Ike’s board.
San Francisco, California: Even though the company isn’t the first one to introduce self-driving trucks on the road, they say they want to build a system which won’t require pivot or constant tweaking.
The company comprises of experienced people from different companies such as Apple, Uber Advanced Technology Group and even Google.
Van Der Berg and Nancy Sun worked with Apple’s special project group and left the firm to join Otto, a startup acquired by Uber in 2016. Alen Woodrow, Google X’s Makani project product lead, also happened to end up at Uber ATG in February 2017 as group project manager.
In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Woodrow said,
The temptation when you’re working on this technology — because there’s so much potential and because there’s so much excitement for it — especially for small companies in the early stages, is to try and hack something together and try to get up and running really quickly.
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The funding will enable the company to build a commercial product and help them expand their human resources which currently employs 30 people.
However, it should be noted that Ike doesn’t plan on eliminating the need for human drivers. Their trucks will mainly focus on autonomous driving only on highways.