Autonomous driving mobility startup, ThorDrive, raises KRW 20 billion in funding

February 16, 2022

ThorDrive, an autonomous driving mobility startup, has raised $16.7 million (approx. KRW 20 billion) in Series A funding.

In this investment, Daishin Securities-Emford New Technology Investment Association, POSCO Technology Investment, Mirae Asset Capital, and Ignite Innovation Fund of the UK participated as financial investors. Additionally, Kakao Mobility and CJ Logistics participated as strategic investors.

ThorDrive, which has attracted investments of $2.5 million (approx. KRW 2.9 billion) in the seed stage and $6.9 million (approx. KRW 8.2 billion) in the pre-A stage, totaled $26.1 million (approx. 31 KRW billion), including this Series A investment.

With this funding, ThorDrive will focus on commercializing its autonomous mobility platform for logistics to enhance the efficiency of the logistics supply chain. This aligns with the customers' need to ensure that the logistics sector is free from the risk of significant disasters related to occupational safety and health. In particular, CJ Logistics, a leading logistics company, has made a strategic investment in Kakao Mobility. This partnership aims to create synergy by leveraging platform technology and strengthen partnerships with top-tier logistics companies in North America and Korea. The goal is to enhance products through demonstration services.

Founded in 2016 with the development team of SNUVer, the first self-driving car in Korea to successfully navigate urban autonomous driving in the Yeouido area of Seoul, ThorDrive possesses its own autonomous driving full-stack technology. This technology includes sensor fusion and AI-based perception, planning, control, and three-dimensional high-precision maps, which are essential components of autonomous mobility. ThorDrive's technology enables operation not only in urban environments with complex traffic, but also in indoor environments and under various weather conditions, such as snow and rain.

ThorDrive introduced Korea's first urban autonomous delivery service in 2019. Since then, it has demonstrated its advanced level of autonomous driving technology by offering a range of mobility services. These include indoor unmanned autonomous electric vehicle services for transportation disadvantaged individuals at Incheon International Airport, as well as autonomous delivery services in California, USA.

ThorDrive, a company that plays a crucial role in commercializing self-driving technology, has been dedicated to implementing autonomous driving technology in the logistics industry. They have achieved this through the development and operation of autonomous driving ground support equipment, which is responsible for facilitating logistics movement between warehouses and aircraft at Cincinnati International Airport. Additionally, they are expediting the advancement of autonomous driving technologies for early commercialization and productization in order to realize the goal of achieving a seamless movement of goods through the use of autonomous driving technologies. Since last year, they have been participating in the Kakao Mobility Autonomous Driving Alliance Program. This program was established to promote the commercialization of autonomous driving technology through cross-disciplinary cooperation, ultimately contributing to the growth of the domestic autonomous driving ecosystem.

Kye Dong-kyoung, CEO of ThorDrive, mentioned, "With years of experience in autonomous driving in urban areas in the U.S. and South Korea, ThorDrive has all the necessary components to enable autonomous mobility. We will now shift our focus towards commercializing this technology based on our advanced autonomous driving technology." He also said, "First of all, we will commercialize the logistics autonomous mobility platform in specific areas such as warehouses, airports, and ports to achieve early commercialization and globalization of autonomous driving technology."

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