Market Overview

Autonomous-Vehicle Startup Kodiak Robotics Raises $40 Million in Series A Financing


Self-Driving Truck Market Heats Up as Otto/Google Veteran Don
Burnette and Venture Capitalist Paz Eshel Tackle Long-Haul Trucking;
Battery, CRV and Lightspeed Invest

Kodiak Robotics, an autonomous-vehicle startup founded by Don Burnette,
previously a co-founder of the self-driving trucking company Otto, and
Paz Eshel, a former venture capitalist, today announced it has raised
$40 million in Series A financing led by global investment firm Battery
Ventures. CRV, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Tusk Ventures also
participated in the round.

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Kodiak Robotics co-founders Don Burnette and Paz Eshel (Photo: Business Wire)

Kodiak Robotics co-founders Don Burnette and Paz Eshel (Photo: Business Wire)

As part of the financing, Battery General Partner Itzik Parnafes will
join Kodiak's board.

Burnette and Eshel founded Kodiak Robotics to bring new technologies to
the long-haul trucking market. Trucking is a key component of the U.S.
economy: According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), trucks
move more than 70 percent of all U.S. freight and generate over $700
billion in revenue annually. While freight volume is at record levels,
driven in part by the growth of e-commerce, the industry is struggling
with a significant shortage of drivers. The ATA estimated an industry
shortage of 51,000 drivers at the end of last year, up from a shortage
of 36,000 in 2016.

Burnette and Eshel founded Kodiak Robotics to alleviate the current
strain on the freight market through self-driving technology. In just
three months, the two have assembled a world-class team of engineers
with experience in actually shipping self-driving vehicles on public

Burnette, Kodiak's CEO, previously co-founded Otto, which was acquired
by Uber in 2016. Earlier in his career, he was one of the early
engineers on the self-driving car team at Google. Eshel most recently
was a vice president at Battery Ventures, where he led the firm's
autonomous-vehicle investment project.

"This financing, coming just three months after founding Kodiak
Robotics, is a huge validation for our vision," Burnette said. "We
believe self-driving trucks will likely be the first autonomous vehicles
to support a viable business model, and we are proud to have the support
of such high-profile investors to help us execute on our plan."

"Autonomous driving is likely one of the most major technology shifts of
the last 100 years," said Battery's Itzik Parnafes. "We have been
researching this trend for several years and feel confident we are
backing an experienced, savvy team that can capitalize on the
opportunity in a unique way."

Kodiak Robotics will use the financing to expand its team and for
product development.

About Kodiak Robotics

Kodiak Robotics is a leading player in the emerging industry of
autonomous-vehicle technology for long-haul trucking. The company was
founded in 2018 by Don Burnette, an earlier-founder of the self-driving
truck company Otto, and Paz Eshel, a former venture capitalist. The
company is backed by investors including Battery Ventures, CRV,
Lightspeed Ventures and Tusk Ventures, and is based in Mountain View,
CA. For more information, visit:

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