Source: MORAI announcement
SEOUL — MORAI, a leading developer of full-stack autonomous vehicle (AV) simulation technology, announced it has successfully secured a $20 million Series B funding round including investment from Korea Investment Partners, KB Investment, and the state-run Korea Development Bank (KDB), as well as from existing investors Naver’s D2 Startup Factory, Hyundai Motor Group’s ZERO1NE, Kakao Ventures, and Atinum Investment, bringing MORAI’s total funding to date to USD 25 million.
MORAI was co-founded in 2018 by three autonomous driving researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). Ever since, the company has established itself as South Korea’s sole provider of full-stack autonomous vehicle simulation solutions.
MORAI’s competitive edge comes from its technology to automatically convert HD map data into digital twins, thereby providing large-scale simulation environments. At this year’s CES, the company also unveiled a cloud-based autonomous vehicle simulation technology, which uses the cloud to build a myriad of simulation environments without hardware restrictions and enables simultaneous testing.
“We will focus on utilizing the funding to hire quality talents,” said Jiwon Jung, CEO of MORAI. He added, “Together with industry talents, we will continue sharpening our technological edge to further enhance our global competitiveness.”
Having established its U.S. office in the San Francisco Bay Area, MORAI plans to further expand its global presence by establishing offices in Germany and Japan, known for well-established automotive industries, as well as in Singapore, for the company’s digital twin technology efforts. The funding will also be used to apply its autonomous vehicle simulation technology to other verticals such as urban air mobility (UAM), one of the leading technologies of future mobility.
“MORAI’s simulator technology will play a key role in enhancing the safety and functionality of self-driving cars,” said Geun-ho Kim, Executive Director of Korea Investment Partners. He added, “MORAI has the potential to become one of the leading companies in the global autonomous driving sector, and we are looking forward to the company’s future growth.”
The company serves more than 100 customers, which includes corporate clients like Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai AutoEver, Naver Labs, and 42dot and educational and research institutions like KAIST and the Korea Transportation Safety Authority. It has also formed partnerships with a variety of global players such as NVIDIA, Ansys, and dSPACE.