The self-driving car market is heating up and with five major players all competing to get driverless cars on the road, en mass. While you probably know that Uber and Lyft have been working on autonomous vehicles, and you might have heard that Google has something called Waymo, and GM has a Cruise, you might not have heard of another startup that’s been equally busy – Zoox.
Don’t worry, if you haven’t heard of Zoox you’re not along. They were in stealth mode for a while but they sure aren’t any more. With 500 employees and a fresh $500M round of financing, the company is valued at $3.2B.
Like most startups raising hundreds of millions of dollars pre-launch, Zoox is taking the go big or go home route. If successful, you might be riding in Zoox rather than Uber of Lyft since part of the plan is to launch their own ride sharing service if all goes well.
Zoox is something of binary wager. If the company manages to pull off its technical efforts, it will be worth a multiple of $3.2 billion. The firm wants to launch its own ridesharing service, per Bloomberg, and could certainly license its tech to any number of global corporations. Or the company will be raided for parts, patents, and people after running out of money. (Source – Crunchbase)
I’m personally a big fan of Zoox, they have a great team and with another $500M behind them, the wind is definitely in their sails. Still, they have some tough competition and compared to Google, GM, Uber, and Lyft, it’s safe to say they’re the underdog. But don’t you just love a good underdog story, especially when the underdog is valued north of $3B?
Oh and for those who were wondering, yes – Zoox does own Zoox.com which they bought through the Uniregistry Market for $70,000 back in 2015 (Source – NameBio). This is a great example of a brandable domain being put to very good use.