In brief: DoorDash acquires autonomous driving startup Scotty Labs

DoorDash acquires autonomous driving startup Scotty Labs
  • DoorDash has been on an acquisition tear of late, with Scotty Labs as its latest target.
  • Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but this comes after DoorDash acquired Caviar in a deal worth US$410 million.
  • Scotty Labs, a tele-operations company that is working on technology to enable people to remotely control self-driving cars, raised a US$6 million seed round from Gradient Ventures, with participation from Horizon Ventures and Hemi Ventures, last March.
  • The startup had previously worked with Voyage for its self-driving cars in retirement communities.
  • This investment in autonomous tech through its acquisition of Scotty Labs and acqui-hire of the team from Lvl5 comes at a time when DoorDash says it is revamping its policies around driver wages.
  • The enthusiasm and potential of autonomous tech had led to startups creating literally dozens of interesting products that focus on different aspects of this field. But it will take a village to get this tech off the ground, which means that consolidation is inevitable.
  • As technology becomes a key way for the crowded arena of delivery startups to differentiate themselves, investing in its own autonomous tech R&D — by way of picking up some of these disparate startups that may have struggled to survive on their own — is one way for DoorDash to build out that tech cred.
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