Oxbotica gets £14m to boost deployment of self-driving vehicles

Autonomous vehicle software company Oxbotica has secured £14m in a bid to accelerate the deployment of self-driving vehicles.

The money will be used to scale business operations in Europe, Asia and the US market.

IP Group plc led the round, which also drew funds from Parkwalk Advisors and long-term commercial partner AXA XL.

Oxbotica’s software has been deployed across multiple projects where the future application of autonomy is being trialled, such as with Ocado, at Heathrow Airport and on major city streets.

Paul Newman, co-Founder of Oxbotica, said: “The domain-agnostic design of our technology, as well as its independence from external infrastructure such as GPS, makes it uniquely versatile across a range of industries. This has allowed us to trade from day one, attracting a significant blue-chip customer base.

“Together with our customers and partners, my fellow founder Ingmar Posner and I look forward to taking our technology – and our products – to the next level.”

Founded in 2014 on research from Oxford University’s Robotics Institute, Oxbotica’s software leverages computer vision, machine learning and artificial intelligence to enable vehicles to operate autonomously in any environment and on any terrain.

Its control system, Selenium, enables vehicles to sense their surroundings, while Caesium, Oxbotica’s cloud-based fleet management system, is able to schedule and co-ordinate fleets of vehicles.

Graeme Smith, CEO of Oxbotica, said: “We are on a mission to bring autonomous software to the world’s biggest markets. We have already seen extraordinary demand from a range of sectors and markets, with the successful deployment of our technology across a strong customer base over the previous four years.

“This injection of funds comes as we move the business into its next growth phase, enabling us to deliver our ambitious plans to scale our capabilities and international presence. To help us achieve this, we are very pleased to welcome our investors to the company and Jamie Vollbracht from IP Group on to our board.”

Jamie Vollbracht, Cleantech partner at IP Group, said: “IP Group is extremely excited about Oxbotica; the company’s highly differentiated approach unlocks a wealth of opportunities. Impressively, by winning substantial contracts with major customers, Oxbotica has been able to fund activities to date without the need for investment. IP Group is therefore delighted to have been selected by Oxbotica as its investment partner as it looks to capitalise on the next phase of growth. I’m very much looking forward to working with the rest of the board and wider team to help capture the many benefits of this technology for all stakeholders.”

Jesse Norman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Transport, went on to note:

“Oxbotica is a terrific example of great British innovation, developing smart solutions to some of the biggest challenges of the future.

“As outlined in the Government’s Industrial Strategy, we see major potential for autonomous vehicles, and I salute cutting edge companies like Oxbotica that help to put Britain not just at the forefront of innovation, but innovation with global potential.”