The investment from climate tech and 5G leaders will propel the startup’s next phase of expansion as it targets a fleet of 1,000 shared vehicles by end of 2023
LAS VEGAS - October 4, 2022 – Halo.Car, the leading provider of driverless electric carshare, today announced a $5M seed round led by climate tech fund At One Ventures, with participation from T-Mobile Ventures, Earthshot Ventures, and existing investor Boost VC. The capital raised will enable the startup to accelerate the growth of its driverless electric carshare fleet in Las Vegas following a successful beta launch earlier this year. Halo.Car’s mission is to increase the global transition to electric vehicles (EVs) by offering truly convenient electric carshare.
Halo.Car’s service eliminates the “waiting and walking” associated with traditional carshare and rental services by delivering EVs on-demand to a customer’s exact location. The vehicle is delivered driverless by one of Halo.Car’s remote pilots who navigate using video and sensor data streamed from Halo’s hardware fitted on the car. Upon delivery, the customer takes control of the car, and on completing their booking, summons a remote pilot to reconnect to the car and remotely pilot it back to Halo.Car’s headquarters. The vehicles can be rented by the hour or at a flat rate per day.
The remote pilots connect to and operate the vehicles using T-Mobile 5G – America's largest, fastest, and most reliable 5G network – alongside other mobile networks. T-Mobile made its first-ever seed stage investment into Halo.Car through its T-Mobile Ventures fund, a multi-year investment fund focused on early and emerging growth companies building the next big thing in 5G.
“Two in ten American households own three or more vehicles, despite the average vehicle being parked for 23 hours a day. This is a massive expense for consumers and bad for the cities they live in,” said Anand Nandakumar, Founder and CEO of Halo.Car. “Halo.Car eliminates the friction associated with traditional carshare to make it easy for customers to switch, and start driving electric. Customers save money on a monthly car payment without losing the convenience of having a car at their doorstep.”
The $5M funding round is being led by At One Ventures – a venture capital firm which backs early-stage companies using deep tech to disrupt their established industries. At One Venture’s Founding Partner Tom Chi, who led the investment, was a founding member of Google X, the incubator that produced self-driving car company Waymo.
“Widespread deployment of autonomous vehicles is still forthcoming, and even when they arrive, it will be essential to have technology like Halo.Car’s in place that allow human backup in challenging situations,” said Chi. “Until then, on-demand carshare enabled by Halo.Car’s remote pilot technology can accelerate the transition to EVs while freeing customers from needing to own and maintain a vehicle - a cost that is roughly $6K per year in the US."
Nandakumar, who previously led perception for Uber’s self-driving unit Advanced Technologies Group, added, “Safety is of the utmost importance, which is why we use human drivers rather than autonomous technology. Autonomous vehicles today call on human intervention when they face a challenge because the technology isn’t as smart as a human. Using remote human drivers instead of autonomy is a faster and safer way to get ‘driverless’ cars deployed to customers.”
Halo.Car has developed multiple systems to ensure its driverless technology is safe and reliable for operation, and is one of the few companies approved by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to deploy on public roads. The vehicles use proprietary patent-pending algorithms to leverage the strongest network connection available at any time. This allows for high performance streaming at low latency and enables remote pilots to safely drive vehicles from thousands of miles away. As a final safety measure, if a vehicle loses connection to all available networks, it independently comes to a controlled full stop.
Halo.Car began testing in Las Vegas in February 2021, completing thousands of miles safely before launching the public beta in July of 2022. During the beta phase, support operators sit inside vehicles to oversee the remote piloted deliveries. Nearly a thousand customers have signed up to the beta waitlist since it opened, demonstrating the strong demand for Halo.Car’s novel carshare offering.
Halo.Car expects to remove the support operators and offer fully remote (‘driverless’) deliveries later this year at its official commercial launch. The commercial launch will initiate the next chapter of the company’s growth, where it will scale the fleet and expand to more cities with a target of 1,000 EVs on road by end 2023.
For more information on Halo.Car please visit https://www.halo.car/.
Halo.Car’s driverless rental delivery brings electric vehicles to customers on-demand, navigated over LTE and 5G by remote pilots. Founded by Uber Advanced Technologies perception lead Anand Nandakumar, Halo’s mission is to accelerate the global transition to electric vehicles by offering truly convenient electric carshare.
Headquartered in Las Vegas, Halo.Car has raised $5M in funding to date with beta testing successfully underway. With a commercial launch planned for late 2022, the company has plans to scale its fleet in more cities with a target of bringing 1,000 EVs on the road by the end of 2023. Learn more at https://www.halo.car/.
About At One Ventures:
At One Ventures invests in deep-tech startups catalyzing a world where humanity is a net positive to nature. The firm is highly technical and was founded by Tom Chi, former Head of Experience and founding member at Google X. At One Ventures finds, funds, and grows companies that are using disruptive deep tech to upend the unit economics of established industries while dramatically reducing their planetary footprint. To date, At One Ventures has invested in 25 startups, including Iron Ox, Ascend Elements, Dendra, Gradient, Apis Cor, Alchemie Technology, and Cruz Foam. For more information, please visit https://www.atoneventures.com/.
Kelli (Dobbins) Weerasooriya
Sling & Stone