South Korean startup MORAI raises $20M in Series B funding to expand its virtual testing technology for autonomous driving systems

A digital twin environment of Las Vegas, NV generated from MORAI SIM

In General XR News

February 8, 2022 – MORAI, a developer of virtual testing solutions for autonomous driving systems, has today announced that it has successfully secured a USD $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 USD $25 million.

MORAI provides full-stack autonomous vehicle simulation solutions. The company’s technology automatically converts HD map data into digital twins, thereby providing large-scale virtual simulation environments for autonomous driving systems.

Having established its US office in the Bay Area, MORAI now 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).

Commenting on the funding round, Jiwon Jung, CEO of MORAI, said: “We will focus on utilizing the funding to hire quality talents,” adding, “Together with industry talents, we will continue sharpening our technological edge to further enhance our global competitiveness.”

A digital twin environment of Duluth, MN generated from MORAI SIM

As the automotive industry moves towards autonomous driving, the automated systems involved must undergo some form of verification and validation to ensure they can recognize surroundings properly and take necessary actions to ensure the safety of all actors.

According to the company, verifying and validating autonomous driving systems on public roads is not only physically impossible, but also testing prototype vehicles on the roads can pose an inherent danger to other road users. Therefore, MORAI’s simulation platform offers a safer alternative to real road testing by providing a virtual testing solution to verify and validate autonomous driving systems.

“MORAI’s simulator technology will play a key role in enhancing the safety and functionality of self-driving cars,” said Geun-ho Kim, Executive Director of Korea Investment Partners. He added, “MORAI has the potential to become one of the leading companies in the global autonomous driving sector, and we are looking forward to the company’s future growth.”

At this year’s CES, the company unveiled its cloud-based autonomous vehicle simulation technology, which uses the cloud to build a myriad of simulation environments without hardware restrictions and enables simultaneous testing.

According to MORAI, the company serves over 100 customers, including corporate clients such as Hyundai Mobis, Hyundai AutoEver, Naver Labs, and 42dot, as well as educational and research institutions like KAIST and the Korea Transportation Safety Authority. The company states that it has also formed partnerships with a variety of global players such as NVIDIA, Ansys, and dSPACE.

For more information on MORAI and its digital twin technology for virtual simulation environments for autonomous driving systems, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: MORAI

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.