Korean autonomous driving developer ‘Autonomous a2z’ raises KRW 34 billion in Series B roundReading Time: 2 minutes
Autonomous a2z, a South Korean autonomous driving developer, has raised KRW 34 billion in a Series B round of funding. The round was led by new investors such as Korea Development Bank, Hana Securities–Hana Ventures, KB Securities,and Xplore Investment, as well as existing investors such as Kakao Mobility, KB Investment, and K&Partners. Autonomous a2Z plans to use the funds to mass-produce its unmanned mobility vehicle platform and for overseas expansion.
Autonomous a2z is in the process of developing two types of autonomous vehicles: a 12-seater autonomous shuttle known as PROJECT MS, which has a box car design, and an unmanned delivery vehicle, PROJECT SD, capable of transporting over 300kg. These vehicles are designed to operate fully autonomously with a top speed of 60km/h on regular public roads. The company is set to showcase these vehicles for the first time at the 2023 Korea Future Mobility Expo (Daegu International Future Auto & Mobility Expo, DIFA), scheduled for October 19.
The company’s autonomous solutions are fundamentally linked with the concept of smart cities. Under this business model, Hana/KB Financial Group is looking forward to introducing innovative financial products like autonomous car insurance and leasing. Concurrently, Xplore Investment, a Corporate Venture Capital of GS Construction, anticipates deriving synergies by collaborating on GS Construction’s domestic and international smart city ventures.
Furthermore, Autonomous a2z has chosen Hana Securities and KB Securities as joint lead managers for its upcoming domestic stock listing. The preparations for a potential 2025 listing are well underway.
Han Ji-hyung, the CEO of Autonomous a2z, remarked, “The KRW 34 billion investment will be allocated towards the test production of prototype autonomous vehicles, with plans for full-scale pilot production post our anticipated 2025 listing. Moreover, we’re eager to expedite our global market penetration by leveraging Autonomous a2z’s platform, evident from our ongoing Singapore demonstration project and the discussions surrounding the European public autonomous shuttle initiative.”
Jung Sung-hoon, a Managing Director at KB Securities who was a part of the investment, stated, “Autonomous a2z stands out as a startup, evident from its impressive track record of demonstrations showcasing software proficiency. What differentiates them from other players in the autonomous driving landscape is their lucid business strategy and our CEO’s rich automotive manufacturing background, which prompted our investment.”
Earlier this year, Autonomous a2z secured the 13th spot in the global autonomous driving company rankings published by the renowned consulting firm, Guidehouse Insights. It was the sole Korean company to achieve this feat. Established in 2018, the company has since amassed over 300,000 kilometers of autonomous driving data on public roads, conducting demos in more than 10 cities both in Korea and internationally.
CEO Han Ji-hyung expressed, “Our sincere gratitude goes out to the investors who showed faith in Autonomous a2z, even amidst challenging investment climates. With their backing, we’re geared towards initiating our large-scale autonomous mobility production. Our objectives remain clear: dominate the future mobility market, boost sales with 2025 mass production, execute a successful IPO, and ascend to the global autonomous driving industry’s top 5.”
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