In April 2018, I founded Kodiak Robotics with a clear mission: to carry freight forward — so people, partners and the planet thrive.
Over the past three-and-a-half years, the Kodiak team has made a staggering amount of progress. We’ve gone from testing our software in simulation in 2018 to making our first customer deliveries in 2019 to achieving our first disengage-free deliveries in 2020 to this year beginning our closed course driver-out testing. We’ve moved from a co-working space to our headquarters in Mountain View, opened up our logistics hub in the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex, and now have begun to scale our business with customers that depend on us to keep their supply chains moving.
2018 — First autonomous loop, Kodiak parking lot
2020 — Back-to-back-to-back-to-back disengage free deliveries, Dallas<>Houston
2021 — Driverless testing, closed test track
Today, we are excited to announce the next step in our journey: the closing of our $125 million Series B financing round, with investments from SIP Global Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, CRV, Muirwoods Ventures, Harpoon Ventures, StepStone Group, Gopher Asset Management, Walleye Capital, Aliya Capital Partners, and others.
The closing of our Series B comes at an important moment for Kodiak, and for the entire autonomous trucking industry. What was once a novel idea — building trucks that drive themselves — has become mainstream, particularly as Americans have become increasingly cognizant of the fragility of our supply chains.
Over the last year, we have dramatically progressed the Kodiak Driver, and firmly believe it to be the self-driving trucking industry’s highest-performing technology stack. We were particularly excited this year to announce our fourth-generation hardware platform, which represents a giant step forward in delivering the performance, reliability, and serviceability Kodiak needs for driverless deployment.
The cornerstone of our unique strategy is our focus, which has allowed us to build industry-leading technology in half the time and with a fraction of the capital of our competitors. Three factors in particular have allowed us to make tremendous progress quickly and efficiently:
- Assembling a supremely talented team working on the specific problem of autonomous trucking has allowed us to make more progress than a sprawling, unfocused team trying to do everything
- Building Kodiak as an ecosystem-first company has allowed us to partner with industry leaders for everything we need, including the vehicle platform, sensors, simulation infrastructure, and more
- Starting from scratch in 2018 has allowed our team to implement our targeted vision for how to build a safe, reliable self-driving system, without being encumbered by the legacy technical debt that has held many in the industry back
Our Series B will only add to our momentum that we’ve built over the last year, and help us at least double the size of our best-in-the-industry team, more than double the size of our fleet, continue to develop and refine our tech, and further grow our family of partners. We will use the next year to robustify and harden the Kodiak Driver, further building the reliability we need to scale our technology and business, and begin building our safety case to go driverless. And of course, #werehiring 😉
It’s an incredibly exciting time at Kodiak, and we can’t wait to tell you more. Until next time, safe and sound journeys!
Don Burnette, Founder and CEO, Kodiak Robotics