Optimus Ride, the MIT spinoff company developing self-driving technology, has closed an $18 million Series A funding round, which it will use to scale its current vehicle fleet, hire new staff and continue its efforts to highlight the potential of fully autonomous driving technology.
The investment was led by Greycroft Partners with participation from Emerson Collective, Fraser McCombs Capital and venture capitalist and director of MIT Media Lab, Joi Ito.
“Autonomy is currently revolutionizing the transportation industry,” said John Elton, Partner at Greycroft.
“The changes will impact not only transportation users’ free time, but the broader world with a safer, more environmentally friendly and inclusive transportation system. Greycroft is thrilled to partner with the Optimus Ride team.”
Optimus Ride received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) to test highly automated vehicles in the state earlier this year. It has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with MassDOT and the City of Boston to enable testing of its self-driving vehicles on roads and public property in Boston and Massachusetts.
“My colleagues and I are extremely proud of what we have accomplished to date, and recognize that the industry is just scratching the surface of the powerful long-term benefits of driverless vehicles,” said Ryan Chin, CEO, Optimus Ride.
“Having the financial backing and guidance of Greycroft and our other venture partners will help us to harness our passion and execute our ultimate vision even more rapidly.”