Cambridge, Mass. — Optimus Ride, an MIT spinoff company that develops self-driving technology, has raised a series seed investment of $5.25M co-led by NextView Ventures and FirstMark Capital.
This round of seed venture financing will enable Optimus Ride to accelerate the development of its fully autonomous (level 4) vehicle technology. Investors in the round include venture capital firms Greycroft Partners, Morado Venture Partners, Haystack and Uj Ventures. Optimus Ride also secured investment from NVIDIA GPU Ventures— the investment arm of NVIDIA, the world’s leading AI computing company. Other key investors in the round include Nicco Mele, the Director of the Shorenstein Center at Harvard University, and Joi Ito, the Director of the MIT Media Lab.
The Optimus Ride team has its roots at MIT, and collectively they share over 30 years of experience on the cutting edge of interdisciplinary research in self-driving technologies, electric vehicles, mobility-on-demand and other transportation systems. The team also includes a decade of industrial and entrepreneurial experience spanning manufacturing robots, medical robots, shared vehicle fleet management and urban design.
Building on this experience, Optimus Ride will leverage the latest advances in complex sensor fusion, mapping, computer vision and machine learning to develop its systems. The company is working to integrate these technologies in order to deploy a new form of transportation system that enables safe, sustainable and equitable mobility access. Optimus Ride has been testing its systems in partnership with the City of Boston, and is currently engaging in additional partnerships for testing and pilot deployments within other cities in the U.S.