CODE42, an autonomous transportation-as-a-service startup established in March this year, announced on Oct. 1 that it has successfully raised 30 billion won (US$25 million) in Pre-A funding, with investment by major Korean conglomerates including Kia Motors, SK Telecom, LG Electronics, and CJ Corp. CODE42 previously raised a seed stage investment of 2 billion won (US$1.7 million) from Hyundai Motor Co. in March.
As lead investor, Kia Motors contributes US$12.5 million to the deal. The 30 billion won investment also marks one of the largest Pre-A rounds of funding for the Korean startup market, with past references typically ranging under US$10 million.
The newly raised funds will be utilized to complete development of CODE42’s core urban mobility operating system (UMOS) platform, as well as establish the global autonomous transportation-as-a-service ecosystem UMOS Connect. Promising to serve as the enabler of autonomous transportation-as-a-service, the UMOS platform aims to integrate various kinds of future mobilities such as autonomous vehicles, drones, and delivery robots to encompass all phases and processes of mobility and logistics services from ride-hailing to robo-taxis to smart logistics and e-commerce.
“The investment by major Korean corporations demonstrates investor trust in our industry-best technology, and equally, enables us to leverage the strength of our partners' infrastructure and service capabilities with an aim to establish a next-generation mobility and logistics service platform,” said Sobg Chang-hyeon, CEO of CODE42. “Based on their specialized expertise and capabilities, we will be working closely with investor companies in an array of areas including autonomous driving and mapping technology, dispatching, fleet management, next-generation in-vehicle infotainment and associated connectivity.”
CODE42, established in March 2019, is an autonomous transportation-as-a-service startup headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, and founded by former Naver CTO Song. Having built a track record of innovative software engineering with multinational IT companies including HP, Microsoft and Apple, Song, in his roles as CTO of Naver, and CEO of Naver Lab, successfully led a variety of innovative projects including the AI speaker Clova, in-vehicle infotainment service AWAY, Papago, self-driving technology, HD mapping and robotics solutions, as demonstrated at CES 2019.