Self-driving tech company Robotic Research Inc. said Thursday it has raised $228 million in its first round of outside funding in the company's nearly two-decade history.
The money comes from not just the regular crowd of venture capitalists. Luminar Technologies, the lidar company working with many of the world's largest automakers, is among the investors.
Luminar has focused mostly on providing lidar for passenger vehicles. But it struck a partnership with Daimler Trucks in October 2020, marking a foray into trucking. Now Robotic Research, which makes automated-driving systems for trucks and public-transit vehicles, has selected Luminar to provide its long-range lidar.
It marks the first time Luminar has made an equity investment.
"This is the first one; I don't know if it's the last," Luminar CFO Tom Fennimore told Automotive News. "I don't know we'll do a lot of it, but if we see an opportunity to do the right strategic investments and right equity investments to solidify those relationships, that will be an arrow in our quiver that we'll use in a very disciplined way."
Terms of Luminar's investment were not disclosed. SoftBank Vision Fund 2 was the lead investor in the Series A round. Other participants include Enlightenment Capital, Crescent Cove Advisors and Henry Crown and Co.