Applied Intuition, a less known autonomous vehicle testing startup, raises $125M in Series C funding co-led by Lux Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, others; reaches unicorn status at $1.25 billion valuation
While everyone is busy talking about Tesla and Waymo, this lesser-known tech startup that offers testing software for the autonomous vehicle industry is getting the attention and backing of the top Silicon Valley investors. Applied Intuition is a 3-yeard old San Francisco-based startup that provides the software infrastructure to safely develop, test, and deploy autonomous vehicles at scale. Its suite of software is used by companies of all sizes to comprehensively test and rapidly accelerate their autonomous vehicle development.
Today, Applied Intuition announced it has raised a $125 million Series C financing round from Lux Capital, Andreessen Horowitz (Series A Lead), and General Catalyst (Series B Lead) with equal participation from each fund. We’re also pleased to welcome Bilal Zuberi, Partner at Lux Capital, to Applied’s Board of Directors. The round was fully funded by existing investors, bringing our total capital raised to a little over $175 million.
Founded in 2017 by Qasar Younis and Peter Ludwig, Applied Intuition pitches itself as a bridge between Silicon Valley and traditional automakers. Younis, the co-founder of a startup acquired by Google and later the chief operating officer of startup accelerator Y Combinator, attended the General Motors Institute of Technology in Michigan; Ludwig attended the University of Michigan for his undergraduate and master’s degrees. Both relocated to California before teaming up on a project to bring modern software to the auto industry’s efforts to add autonomous features to their vehicles.
“If you’re an engineer at a global OEM, let’s say you work at Hyundai in South Korea, it should be very easy for you to log in on day one and have access to tools,” Younis says, referring to original equipment manufacturers, the companies physically making products like cars and their parts. “That’s not how it works for an automotive engineer today. It could be months before you have your engineering setup.”
In a blog post, the Applied Team said: “From a small house in the Sunnyvale suburbs to global offices, the past 3.5 years of our company have been dedicated to accelerating the autonomous system goals for our customers. We started the company with a mission to make it faster and easier to bring autonomy to the market, which means a safer world for everybody. Since then, we have seen our simulation and infrastructure tools gain widespread adoption across a variety of customer use cases in the automotive industry and beyond.”