Sign up to receive our
daily summary of tech news for free.

Scale CEO Alexandr Wang. Photo by Erin Beach
Exclusive
Venture Capital Startups Autonomous Vehicles

Supplier to Self-Driving Car Makers Nears Financing at $1 Billion Valuation

Photo: Scale CEO Alexandr Wang. Photo by Erin Beach

Driverless cars may be years away from being practical, but a key independent supplier of software to the self-driving vehicle industry, Scale, is having a breakout moment with investors as its business booms.   

The company is nearing the completion of a new round of financing led by Founders Fund, the venture firm co-founded by Peter Thiel, that values Scale at around $1 billion, according to two people familiar with the deal. That’s a big jump from its $90 million valuation in a funding round last year, according to PitchBook. Scale’s software helps self-driving vehicle developers train their computer vision algorithms to identify objects on the road, a process known as data annotation. 

Unlike most self-driving vehicle developers, nearly all of which are in early testing phases, Scale is already generating revenue. The company’s annual recurring revenue—which reflects customer commitments to buy its services over the next 12 months—has jumped to $40 million from $4 million over the past year, according to one of these people. While the size of the round couldn’t be learned, Founders Fund is expected to invest around $50 million into the San Francisco–based company, according to one of the people. A spokeswoman for Founders Fund said the firm “declined to comment on rumors and speculation.”

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
Exclusive Economy
Snap CEO Spiegel Calls for Reparations Commission, Taxes to Address Racial Injustice

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel called for the creation of an American commission to address racial injustice and comprehensive tax reform, saying in a lengthy note to employees that he was “heartbroken and enraged” by racism in America.

“Economic inequality in America has reached levels unseen for nearly a century, people of color cannot visit a grocery store or go for a jog without ...

Latest Briefs
 
Netease Follows Alibaba With a Secondary Share Offering in Hong Kong
Most Apple Stores in U.S. Closed Due to Protests
Snap CEO Calls For Reparations Commission, Higher Taxes
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Data Point Uber/Lyft Economy
Where Are Most Tech Layoffs? Not Silicon Valley
Some of San Francisco’s most well-known tech firms have cut deep into their staffs in recent months.
Startups Facebook
Who’s Really Hiring in Tech Right Now
Tech workers are facing a job market that seemed unthinkable six months ago. They’re getting fired over Zoom, whipsawed by phantom job listings and finding that aggressive recruiters have suddenly gone quiet.
Venture Capital Startups
Tech Workers Stung by Job Listings That Aren’t Real
As companies scramble to cut costs through layoffs and furloughs, many freshly unemployed workers in tech and media are flocking to online job listings with a new sense of urgency.
Exclusive Facebook Asia
Snap Plans Expanded Developer Platform That Echoes WeChat
Snap is planning to let other companies build pared-down versions of their mobile apps within Snapchat, according to two people familiar with the plans, mimicking the approach of popular Chinese social app WeChat.
Enterprise COVID-19
Tricks for Trimming Cloud Costs in Downturn
The business turmoil caused by Covid-19 is prompting companies to cut costs any way they can, from furloughing staff to begging landlords for breaks on their rent.
Policy Google
Answers to Six Big Questions About Trump’s Social Media Order
President Trump launched a new front in his long-running battle against the large tech platforms this week.