Amazon.com Inc. has placed an order for 1,000 autonomous driving systems from self-driving truck technology startup, Plus, and has acquired the option to buy a stake of as much as 20%, Plus said in a regulatory filing.
The Sequoia Capital China-backed company, which is developing autonomous driving technology for long-haul trucking, is set to have a valuation of $3.3 billion, adding $500 million in proceeds to accelerate its expansion, the company said in a statement in May. The company raised $150 million via so-called private investment in public equity, or PIPE, from funds including BlackRock Inc. and D.E. Shaw.
Founded by a group of Stanford University classmates in 2016, Plus is backed by investors including Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp., GSR Ventures Management and a Chinese long-haul company known in English as Full Truck Alliance. It also has a partnership with European truckmaker Iveco SpA and is working with Cummins Inc. on using autonomous technology in trucks powered by natural gas.