Einride today announced it has raised $25 million to continue development of its self-driving electric shipping vehicles and begin targeting international markets.
Based in Sweden, the company has developed a software platform and autonomous, electric Einride Pods that are modular and can be adapted to suit various loads. The goal is to speed the trend toward more efficient and sustainable delivery systems as logistics are stretched under the booming demand for goods worldwide.
“Our ambition is to disrupt the transport industry, and closing our series A brings us one step closer to that goal,” said Einride founder and CEO Robert Falck in a statement. “The funding will allow us to start expanding in the U.S., deliver on our technology road map, and to meet rapidly increasing customer demand.”
Founded in 2016, the company has developed an Autonomous Electric Transport system that includes both the platform for managing fleets and the self-driving pods. Because the vehicles don’t have cabs, they are lighter and make more efficient use of their electric charges.
Einride’s model is twofold. It works with other logistics companies to help introduce its self-driving vehicles into their fleets, including a partnership with shipping logistics provider DB Schenker. But it also works directly to supply pods to companies like supermarket chain Lidl.
Reinventing long-haul logistics has become a hot area for both entrepreneurs and investors in recent years. Given the high costs for fuel, challenges recruiting and retaining drivers for trucking, and thin margins, the sector seems ripe for disruptive solutions like autonomous or electric vehicles.
Companies such as Starsky Robotics, Thor Trucks, Ike, Pronto.ai, Aurora, and TuSimple are building self-driving trucks. Automotive giants such as Daimler and Volvo have also developed their own self-driving shipping vehicles. And there seems to be plenty of money to go around.
Today’s round was led by the EQT Ventures and NordicNinja VC, with participation from Ericsson Ventures, Norrsken Foundation, Plum Alley Investments, and Plug and Play Ventures. Einride executives said the latest funding will be used for hiring, product development, and expansion into the U.S.
“Einride is taking on the huge challenge of revolutionizing the jurassic global transportation market by automating and electrifying transportation to reduce CO2 emissions,” said Ted Persson, operating partner and investment advisor at EQT Ventures, in a statement.