UPDATED 21:46 EDT / FEBRUARY 28 2019


Report: Self-driving car technology startup Drive.ai is looking for a buyer

Silicon Valley self-driving car technology startup Drive.ai is apparently on the market and looking for a buyer, according to an unconfirmed report.

The Information reported today that the firm has hired investment bank Jefferies as an adviser and in recent weeks told bigger rivals it is interested in selling.

Founded in 2015 by former lab partners from Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab, Drive.ai is building a platform that applies deep learning and artificial intelligence to deliver cost-efficient autonomous vehicle software. Drive.ai claims that its “deep learning-first approach” allows its autonomous vehicles to rapidly learn new driving scenarios and routes “without tedious engineering effort,” allowing it to scale out more easily to new locations in the U.S. and abroad.

Its decision to look for a buyer comes as a surprise. Although it’s certainly not a major player in the burgeoning autonomous vehicle market, at least by valuation, Drive.ai is a fairly well-known company.

It last raised $15 million in venture capital funding in September 2017 on a valuation believed to be about $200 million. Its investor list is extensive. Grab Taxi, GGV Capital, HOF Capital, InnoSpring, Maniv Mobility, New Enterprise Associates, Northern Light Venture Capital and Oriza Ventures all have stakes in the company.

The Information said the decision by Drive.ai to find a buyer shows how of the “self-driving car startup world is shaking out as optimism about how long it will take to commercialize the technology fades.”

Drive.ai launched an on-road testing program in May but was late to the party. Various other players, many with far superior funding, have been testing autonomous vehicles going back years. Waymo LLC, the company formerly known as Google Inc.’s self-driving project may arguably lead the market in autonomous vehicle development, but there are still precious few examples of the technology being commercialized.

Even companies with strong funding have struggled. Uber Technologies Inc. vehicles have run over and killed pedestrians, while Apple Inc. is in the process of giving up altogether. Apple laid off 190 staff earlier this week from its Project Titan autonomous vehicle development team following news that its test vehicles rated last out of 48 companies testing self-driving car technology in California.

Photo: Drive.ai

Since you’re here …

Show your support for our mission with our one-click subscription to our YouTube channel (below). The more subscribers we have, the more YouTube will suggest relevant enterprise and emerging technology content to you. Thanks!

Support our mission:    >>>>>>  SUBSCRIBE NOW >>>>>>  to our YouTube channel.

… We’d also like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.