CUPERTINO, March 31, 2021
Plus (formerly Plus.ai), a leading provider of self-driving truck technology, today announced it has added $220 million in new financing co-led by FountainVest Partners and ClearVue Partners, with participation from Quanta Computer Inc., Phi Zoyi Capital, and Millennium Technology Value Partners. The company’s existing investors including Sequoia Capital China, SAIC Capital, and Full Truck Alliance (FTA) also participated. This investment is an extension of the $200 million round announced last month, which was led by CPE and Guotai Junan International.
The additional funds will enable Plus to further expand its global operations and commercial deployment plans across the U.S., China, Europe and other parts of Asia for its driver-in autonomous driving solution, PlusDrive. The company is in the final stages of certifying PlusDrive for commercial operation in China. Mass production for the PlusDrive-powered automated truck jointly developed with FAW, the world’s largest heavy truck maker, is set to start this summer. Plus is working with some of the largest fleets in the U.S. and China, such as SF Express, China’s largest logistics company, to pilot commercial freight operations. Truck makers and fleet partners recognize the multitude of benefits delivered by PlusDrive in terms of improved safety, efficiency, comfort, and sustainability.
“Plus is the only autonomous trucking company to start mass production of its autonomous driving system this year and this investment will help fuel plans to bring our automated trucks to market,” said David Liu, CEO and Co-founder, of Plus. “We are grateful to our investors, partners, customers, and team for sharing in our vision to make trucking safer and greener.”
Alex Zhang, Partner and Head of the Industrial group at FountainVest, said: “Self-driving technology will be transformational for the trucking industry by making our world safer and greener, and helping fleets drive more fuel efficiency and reduce operating costs. With the mass production of its autonomous driving system this year, Plus is hitting an important inflection point for the company. We’re thrilled to contribute to the company’s success.”
“Autonomous driving is going to revolutionize the world, across consumer and commercial applications, and ClearVue has been at the forefront of investing in the leading companies bringing autonomy solutions to market. We are confident in Plus and its ability to deliver, and excited to help accelerate its growth plans,” said Kathleen Ying, Partner at ClearVue.
Peter Chiu, head of private equity, Guotai Junan International, said: “Speeding up the development of autonomous trucking technology will create immense economic and environmental impact. Plus is well poised to take a leadership role in driving this fundamental change in the transportation industry, and we are proud to support them in this important mission.”
“Through its innovations in autonomous driving technology and business model, Plus has started to deliver the benefits of autonomous trucking by applying the technology to trucks today,” said Gordon Wan, Principal at SAIC Capital. “The thoughtful approach that Plus is taking to build a sustainable company will pave way for its continued success.”
Plus is a world leader in self-driving truck technology. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, the company was founded in 2016 by a group of serial entrepreneurs and industry veterans, each with over 20 years of experience in high tech and artificial intelligence. Plus is applying full-stack self-driving technology to trucks today to enable large scale autonomous commercial transport. Plus is currently working with some of the leading truck manufacturers, largest shippers, and top fleet operators to begin mass production of its automated driving system. For more information, please visit www.plus.ai.
FountainVest Partners is an established, independent private equity firm in Asia managing assets on behalf of the world’s leading public pensions, sovereign wealth funds, and other institutional investors. It focuses on long-term investments in industry leaders, partnering closely with management teams to unlock value and drive growth, all while seeking to make a positive impact in the communities in which it works. FountainVest has a strong track record, having completed numerous landmark investments across the globe in multiple sectors, including consumer, media, technology, healthcare, industrials, and financial and business services. Its portfolio companies in the industrial sector include Key Safety System (KSS), and BMTS Technology, and CJ Rokin, China’s largest cold chain logistics company.
ClearVue Partners is a private equity firm focused on investing in fast-growing companies that are informed by data and powered by technology. The firm invests in expansion stage companies that have demonstrated a solid track record of success, have a strong management team, and are poised for accelerated growth. Amongst ClearVue’s portfolio companies are Pony.ai and Ping An Good Doctor. The fund’s strategic advisors include Roland Berger, founder of consultancy Roland Berger GmbH; Fred Langhammer, Chairman, Global Affairs of Estée Lauder; and Ram Krishnan, President & CEO of Greater China Region for PepsiCo.
Quanta Computer Inc. is a Fortune Global 500 Company and the world’s leading provider for notebook computers, datacenter equipment, automotive electronics, enterprise network systems, mobile communication, and other technology products. The company has manufacturing sites across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Phi Zoyi Capital is a leading Greater-China based private equity fund focused on global investment opportunities in the automotive and high-tech sectors. Investors of the fund include ASE group, world’s largest semiconductor assembly and test provider, as well as MediaTek, the world’s 4th largest global fabless semiconductor company.
Millennium New Horizons is the latest fund launched by Millennium Technology Value Partners to focus on the firm’s pursuit of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Autonomous Driving, Robotics, Sensors, and Big Data that are increasingly shaping the future of work, business, and life. Millennium’s portfolio companies include Aurora, Blackmore, Facebook, Joby Aviation, Spotify, and Twitter.
SAIC Capital is a corporate venture capital firm formed in 2014 and based in Silicon Valley. Its purpose is to establish SAIC, China’s largest carmaker, as a major player in developing leading-edge technology for the transportation industry. Its areas of investment include: alternative energy solutions, autonomous driving, connected vehicles (IoT), and big data.
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