The rush to replace the normal, everyday car is already one of the biggest stories in today's global marketplace.
Giants of the internet like Google and Baidu in China, newcomers like Tesla and Uber, and much more traditional manufacturers like General Motors, are all attempting to control the market that many believe will eventually be worth up to trillions of dollars.
And if you're from Australia, the entire race for dominance is going to get much more interesting.
A secretive autonomous vehicle company, led by an Australian, is currently in the process of rebuilding its funds with hundreds of millions of dollars. And one of the nation's most important tech entrepreneurs is right behind it. A California based self-driving car company, Zoox, was co-founded by Tim Kentley-Klay, a Melbourne firm, and currently is in talks with their investors about entering a huge series B funding round that could be valued upwards of $3 billion.
Co-CEO of Atlassian, Mike Cannon Brookes, is one of the heavy investors in this round using his own personal company, Grok Ventures, Brookes is expected to be on the company's board of directors once the funding round is finished.
A secretive autonomous vehicle company, led by an Australian, is currently in the process of rebuilding its funds with hundreds of millions of dollars. And one of the nation's most important tech entrepreneurs is right behind it.
A California based self-driving car company, Zoox, was co-founded by Tim Kentley-Klay, a Melbourne firm, and currently is in talks with their investors about entering a huge series B funding round that could be valued upwards of $3 billion.
A Zoox representative also confirmed the funding discussions were underway, but Brookes declined any comment.
The funds from this round will give Zoox enough money for whatever may be coming their way, especially from rival companies who have much deeper pockets.
Zoox hopes to build and utilize a fleet of autonomous taxis that could roams roads endlessly. They hope to have these cars on roads by 2020, but to do so they will need a large financial boost.
With self-driving car, they estimate that could double to $2 trillion, or 30% of the market.
A graduate of Camberwell Grammar and Swinburne University, Kentley-Klat, has continually stated that Zoox isn't updating their cars bit by bit, but trying to be an complete evolution of transportation.
Zoox's cars most likely won't even have a steering wheel, and could be summoned through an Uber like ride-hailing service.
"Zoox is not building a better car, we actually think we are building what comes after the car, which is a robot," he said at a conference last year.
However not much is known about Zoox's car and the company keeps their vehicles very secret - even distancing themselves from any prototype images that are sometimes spotted on social media.
Kentley-Klay stated last year that Zoox has “test mules in the wild” around on California roads.
Zoox has hard competition from plenty of rivals within both auto and tech markets.
Waymo, Google/Alphabet's autonomous car company, is usually deemed the market leader and their own self-driving vehicles have traveled over 5 million miles.
Other major companies include the Chinese search engine company Baidu, ride-hailing king Uber, China's ride-hail venture Didi Chuxing, Tesla, and major car manufacturers like General Motors - who recently invested $500 million into Lyft.
In 2016, Zoox raised $290 million from major venture funds including DFJ and Lux Capital, as well as other investors like, Blackbird Ventures, and the Chinese Tencent. The total financing round was valued at around $1.5 billion.
Just last year, it was being reporting that Zoox was in talks with the Japanese wireless company Softbank, which is one of the world's largest investors for startup tech firms, putting in about $1 billion during that funding round that values Zoox between $3 and $4 billion.
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