PrivCo Logo

Robotaxis' First Fares

Robotaxis' First Fares
June 6, 2022

The Daily Stack is a daily private market insights newsletter by PrivCo, a private company intelligence platform. Read our previous insights.
Have an interesting topic you want us to include, let us know!

I remember distinctly when I first heard about Uber. My friend, whom I had met doing nonprofit work in San Francisco’s Mission district, moonlit as a waitress in the neighborhood. After he shift, she would order an Uber home. It turns out 23-year-olds making wads of cash in the service industry were Uber’s early adopters and ambassadors. From my friend’s description, Uber was a black car service you could order from your phone and complete with thoughtful details, like breath mints and water, generally reserved for a swankier crowd. Boom. Magic.

Then of course came Lyft with the friendly fist-bumping drivers, Uber’s business drama, and policy battles fought and won over a decade.

Now, after years of quietly piloting programs with employees and test-users, robotaxis are hitting the road (and hopefully no other cars or light poles).


Fight for the Right of Way
Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, recently started offering rides to its employees around San Francisco. This step is the precursor to being permitted to offer its driverless taxis as a paid service by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The company, which reached a $30BN valuation in 2021, is also using Phoenix, Arizona as the testing ground for its operations, logging more than 500,000 autonomous miles. But both San Francisco and Phoenix streets have competition.

Cruise has secured the necessary permitting to begin charging for robotaxi rides in San Francisco. The autonomous vehicle subsidiary of GM Motors is also piloting a program in Phoenix for deliveries. 

Meanwhile, in Austin and Miami, Argo AI Is shuttling employees via its autonomous taxis. Lyft has a 2.5% stake in the company and is piloting its vehicles for human-monitored rides.

Path to Profit?
Considering that Uber is still not on track to make a profit, these robotaxis are attractive in part because they remove the need to pay drivers. Critics argue that the billions of venture capital funneled into car-sharing and robotaxi startups have been a diversion from simpler solutions from City Hall, namely public transportation. Elon Musk thinks Tesla's robotaxi will cost less than a bus ticket.

So in ten years, when you’re getting driven to your annual in-office work day by a robotaxi, maybe you’ll remember where you were when you heard about robotaxis.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
1,161 Companies | 213 Funding Activities | 133 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:

JupiterOne raises $70MM from Tribe

SaaS • Round C • Morrisville, NC

RealWear raises $23.5MM from Foundry

Wearables • Round C • Vancouver, WA

Epic Sciences raises $43MM from Arsenal

Biotechnology • Round F • San Diego, CA

MyCoMedica raises $60MM from Obvious

Neuroscience • Equity • Shelton, WA

MoEngage raises $77MM from B Capital

SaaS • Round E • San Francisco, CA

Transition Bio raises $50MM from Northpond

Drug Research • Round A • Cambridge, MA

Endpoint Health raises $52MM from Mayfield

Drug Research • Round A • Palo Alto, CA

ZeroNorth raises $50MM from PSG Private Equity

CleanTech • Round B • Copenhagen, Denmark

UpStream Bio raises $200MM from OrbiMed

Drug Research • Round A • Waltham, MA

Super raises $70MM from New Enterprise Associates

E-Commerce • Round C • Surabaya,Indonesia

Transcat acquires Alliance Calibration

Calibration • Acquisition • Cincinnati, OH

seoClarity acquires RankSense

SEO • Acquisition • East Brunswick, NJ


Forward to a Friend Forward to a Friend
Not a subscriber yet? Sign up here.
Have an interesting topic you want us to include. Let us know! 
Copyright © 2022 PrivCo Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Unsubscribe | | Contact Us
PrivCo Logo

© 2024 PrivCo Media, LLC


HomeSign inContactPricing