May Mobility, a pioneer in developing and deploying autonomous vehicle (AV) technology, closed a $111 million Series C fundraising round today. In addition, the company intends to pursue its deployment programs using the Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicle platform while beginning development on another vehicle design centered around mobility, Toyota’s e-Palette, signaling the next potential milestone in its quest to bring equitable mobility solutions to the masses.
A concept rendering of a Toyota e-Palette prototype, a next-generation mobility platform on which May Mobility has begun early integration of its autonomous driving kit.
“With the close of this latest investment round, May Mobility will continue to accelerate growth in our technology, business development and platforms, all with a global reach,” said Edwin Olson, CEO of May Mobility.
“Our additional investors, as well as our continued strategic collaboration with Toyota and others, will enable us to march toward driver-out commercial operations in 2023 and enable our expansion into new markets as we roll out more Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicles now and look to next generation platforms, such as the e-Palette.”
INSURANCE INDUSTRY SUPPORTS THE AV FUTURE
State Farm Ventures® joined Tokio Marine in the funding round, contributing to the growth of May Mobility and becoming one of the first U.S. insurers to invest in autonomous vehicles. May Mobility’s primary objective is to increase road safety, and this investment demonstrates the insurance industry’s rising support for AV operations to minimize road accidents.
“The insurance industry sees the future of mobility and is recognizing the importance of helping to design the way insurance will support autonomous vehicles in the future,” said Ryan Green, CFO of May Mobility. “Having partners like Tokio Marine and State Farm Ventures helps expedite that vision for the future of mobility.”
State Farm Ventures focuses on investing in start-ups developing technologies and products to meet consumer requirements in ways that they may not anticipate from an insurance company. As the largest car insurer in the United States, they are interested in investing in technology, services, and capabilities that enhance vehicle and pedestrian safety.
“May Mobility’s technology is a potential compelling advancement in the evolution of autonomous driving and may help to reduce accidents and improve road safety.” said Vice President of State Farm Ventures Michael Remmes stated.
May Mobility is continuing its partnership with Toyota in addition to the latest amount of finance. May Mobility-modified Sienna Autono-MaaS car platforms have already been deployed in Ann Arbor for testing and demonstrations, with more public deployment locations scheduled by the end of 2022. The program also includes ADA-compliant modifications thanks to the company’s relationship with Braunability.
This fall, a Toyota Sienna Autono-MaaS outfitted with May Mobility’s autonomous driving kit will debut as part of a new public on-demand AV deployment.
Moreover, May Mobility has initiated preliminary development work on integrating the company’s ADK onto the Toyota e-Palette, a battery-electric vehicle platform poised to significantly revolutionize the future of mobility. With increased rider capacity and the growth of more efficient transportation services enabled by a platform such as e-Palette, May Mobility will continue its objective to ultimately eliminate traffic and the demand for parking lots and garages, thereby providing more livable green space.
“We are already seeing the benefits of using Toyota’s Sienna Autono-MaaS vehicle platform as it was designed from the ground up to interface with computers, and we look forward to future discussions on the use of Toyota’s e-Palette as an exciting opportunity to set new milestones as we transform mobility with an autonomous, electric vehicle platform. This platform, coupled with our technology, has the power and capability to accelerate the future of mobility,” added Olson.
Bringing the total amount of capital obtained by the firm to date to $194 million, the round is anticipated to strengthen May Mobility’s engineering personnel, develop its worldwide customer base, enhance rider experiences, and invest further in technological advancements. May Mobility’s commitment to driverless operations in 2023 has been quadrupled with this funding round. SoftBank, State Farm Ventures, Next Century Ventures, SAIC, Wanxiang, Karma, and 10x Group have joined the list of partners committed to the company’s aim of fostering a greener and more accessible future through mobility. SPARX Group Co., Ltd.’s Mirai Creation Fund II led the round with Tokio Marine, Toyota Tsusho, Bridgestone Americas, and returning investors Toyota Ventures, Millennium Technology Value Partners, Cyrus Capital Partners, LG Technology Ventures, and Maven Ventures, among others.
With its Series C funding round, May Mobility gained commercial traction with partners driving the adoption of AV technology in the business-to-government and business-to-business sectors. In addition to the previously-announced initiative with Bridgestone, May Mobility is working on a project with MONET Technologies and SoftBank for an international route in Tokyo.