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BP, Tencent Back UK Autonomous Vehicle Software Startup

06/01/2021 1:40pm

Dow Jones News


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By Adam Clark

 

Oxbotica, a U.K. developer of autonomous vehicle software, said Wednesday that it had raised $47 million in a funding round led by the venture investment arm of BP PLC, which also included Chinese internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd.

The company, founded in 2014 by professors from the University of Oxford, said the money would accelerate commercial deployment of its software. It is initially focusing on industrial uses before moving on to urban transport.

BP Ventures led the Series B funding round as the British oil major looks to invest in technology that could help in its planned diversification as an energy business. In 2018, it acquired the U.K.'s largest electric-vehicle charging company, Chargemaster.

China's Tencent also participated in the funding round as it looks to boost its presence in the self-driving sector. Tencent said in 2019 that it was partnering with BMW to launch a computing center in China to develop self-driving technology.

Other investors in the round included London-listed IP Group PLC, an early backer of Oxbotica, and FTSE 100 safety-equipment company Halma PLC. The latter said the investment would expand Oxbotica's partnership with Halma's Navtech, a radar technology company.

 

Write to Adam Clark at adam.clark@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 06, 2021 08:25 ET (13:25 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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