Helm.ai, a startup developing AI software for autonomous driving, announced it has raised $55 million in a Series C funding round. The new capital will support Helm.ai's R&D efforts and aid in bringing its self-driving technologies to market.
The financing round was led by private investment firm Freeman Group, with participation from venture capital firms ACVC Partners and Amplo. Strategic investments also came from major automotive and technology companies including Honda Motor, Goodyear Ventures, and Sungwoo Hitech.
Helm.ai offers an AI software stack that allows automakers and mobility companies to build advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and achieve higher levels of driving automation. Its proprietary "Deep Teaching" technology enables Helm.ai to deliver AI solutions without relying on huge amounts of manually labeled driving data.
"This new capital will increase our AI offerings for autonomous driving and robotics applications and expand the commercialization footprint of our cutting-edge AI software stack," said Helm.ai CEO Vlad Voroninski.
The company's funding news comes as the autonomous vehicle industry undergoes a period of reckoning, with some rival self-driving startups faltering due to limitations in their technology or business models. Helm.ai believes its more measured approach of providing AI software to automotive partners is gaining traction. This is distinguished by its generalized and hardware-agnostic nature.
Such versatility not only endears Helm.ai to its existing clientele but positions it to onboard a growing number of partners in the foreseeable future. Helm.ai counts Honda as one of its strategic investors. Other major automakers and mobility providers are evaluating or actively piloting the startup's self-driving software.
Helm.ai's technology leverages unsupervised deep learning techniques to train AI models without extensive human labeling of data. This allows it to deliver automated driving capabilities using only dash cameras, reducing complexity and costs compared to rivals relying on lidar and other sensor suites.
The new funding will support Helm.ai's push to commercialize its technology and equip partners to achieve higher levels of autonomous driving functionality. With the vote of confidence from investors, Helm.ai is poised to scale up its customer deployments in the months ahead.