Auto tech top deal tracker. Atieva, Faraday, and LeEco. Another sensor startup funded.
Three comma club
We broke down the latest auto tech startup financing data for 2016 to date, and it’s clear that momentum in the auto tech space shows no sign of slowing as we head into Q4.
At the current run rate, private auto tech companies are on track for their first billion-dollar year in collective funding. With two and a half months left in the year, deal activity is already on par with 2015’s full-year total.
This year’s financing totals have been noticeably lifted by the increasing prevalence of $50M+ and $100M+ rounds; just a handful more would lift 2016 over $1B+ in total funding. We’ve created a tracker dedicated to following these top auto tech deals.
Wanted: Autonomous engineers
Fortune and Indeed dug into job listings to find the companies recruiting most actively (at least online) for autonomous vehicle development. These skills are obviously in high demand, with Sebastian Thrun’s Udacity now offering a nanodegree dedicated to the field.
Topping the list are the usual corporate suspects like GM (which has announced a 700-engineer hiring target), Google, and Ford. Atieva is the sole newcomer rounding out the top 5; the startup’s hiring uptick is notable given its checkered past.
Atieva has deep-pocketed Chinese backers but has struggled with former investor BAIC Motor (now divested), the ousting of its co-founder, and uncertainty with backer LeEco (whose billionaire owner has also started Faraday Future, in addition to LeEco’s own auto efforts).
We took a look at the company’s overall hiring activity via the CB Insights platform. Atieva’s open listings have remained quite high after accelerating sharply early in the year. Peeking into current listings does reveal many ADAS and autonomous-related positions.
Incidentally, sketches of Atieva’s first sedan and initial manufacturing plans surfaced this week through public records requests (for more, read on below).