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Tim Kentley-Klay, CEO, Zoox, speaks July 17, 2017 at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado. Photo: ROB LEVER/AFP/Getty Images

Zoox Inc., committed to building an entire self-driving car from scratch, has raised $500 million in new funding led by Atlassian co-founder Michael Cannon-Brookes and Fred Hu of China-based Primavera Capital, at a $3.2 billion post-money valuation.

Why it matters: The self-driving car race continues as a growing number of players, including tech companies like Alphabet and Uber, as well as automakers, rush to build autonomous vehicles.

Zoox's plans: The company, which now has 500 employees, plans to have a commercially available car by 2020.

  • Zoox won't be selling its cars to others — instead, it plans to deploy and operate its own ride-hailing service with its cars, the company tells Axios.
  • At first, it will operate its service in a limited geofenced area that will increase over time. The company declined to say where it will roll out but it is looking at several cities, including San Francisco.
  • Currently, its test cars can drive fully on their own from Stanford University to the company's office in San Francisco, says Zoox — a distance of about 40 miles.

The money question: Building an entire car takes several billions of dollars, and Zoox has only raised $800 million in total so far. Tim Kentley-Klay tells Axios this latest round will last the company until the end of next year, but declined to comment on its fundraising plans.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

GOP senator calls for senility test for aging leaders

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a physician, told me during an "Axios on HBO" interview that he favors cognition tests for aging leaders of all three branches of government.

Why it matters: Wisdom comes with age. But science also shows that we lose something. And much of the world is now run by old people — including President Biden, 78 ... Speaker Pelosi, 81 ...  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, 70 ... and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, 79.

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Intel CEO blames predecessors for manufacturing woes

Axios on HBO

When it comes to Intel's recent manufacturing problems, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger places the blame squarely on his predecessors — many of whom he notes were not engineers deeply steeped in chip technology, as he is.

Why it matters: Gelsinger has announced a broad plan to reinvigorate Intel by doubling down on manufacturing. However, the strategy depends on the venerable semiconductor giant recovering from recent stumbles.

Marketing to Generation Alpha

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Marketers are pouring money into figuring out the tastes and habits of Generation Alpha — kids born from 2010 through 2024 — who are unprecedented in the extent they're growing up online.

Why it matters: They're weaned on TikTok, Amazon and in-app purchases. They're learning from their millennial parents to hold brands accountable for causes like social justice and sustainability. And no prior age cohort will be as large in size or marketing power.