Korea-based MORAI, a developer of full-stack autonomous vehicle simulation technology, secured a US$20-million Series B funding round. The round includes investment from new investors 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 US$25 million.
MORAI was co-founded in 2018 by three autonomous driving researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The company subsequently has established itself as South Korea’s sole provider of full-stack autonomous vehicle simulation solutions.
MORAI’s competitive edge comes from its ability to convert HD map data automatically 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.
MORAI SIM Cloud is the Software as a Service (SaaS) model of the existing MORAI autonomous driving simulator, MORAI SIM, that will allow users to perform simulation tests in the cloud without the process of installing any software onto local computers. The cloud-based method will play a key role in increasing test efficiency as it enables users to run a large number of simulation tests requiring multiple computers to run, with a single computer simultaneously.
MORAI SIM Cloud will also offer a test automation feature, which automatically distributes test cases in a cloud environment to perform tests and generate finalized results.
Having established its US office in the 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).
The company serves more than 100 customers, including corporate clients such as Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai AutoEver, Naver Labs, and 42dot and educational and research institutions such as KAIST and the Korea Transportation Safety Authority. It has also formed partnerships with a variety of global players such as NVIDIA, Ansys, and dSPACE.