Grindr owner Kunlun to invest USD 50 million in self-driving startup Pony.ai

This turn comes as the company is facing pressure to spin off Grindr.

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Grindr owner Kunlun to invest USD 50 million in self-driving startup Pony.ai

Beijing-based gaming company Kunlun announced on Wednesday evening its plan to buy a 3% stake in Pony.ai, a company that is developing autonomous vehicles, with USD 50 million in what the company calls a “foresighted” investment.

“It is an important investment in the artificial intelligence field,” Kunlun said in its filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Kunlun, which has recently been under mounting pressure from the US government to divest from the popular gay dating app Grindr, expects that its deal with Pony.ai will “inject new energy into the company’s development.”

Pony.ai was founded in Silicon Valley by former employees of Google and Baidu. The company received five road test licenses from Beijing’s transportation regulator in January.

The self-driving startup closed its Series A1 funding round with USD 102 million last July, carrying a valuation close to USD 1 billion.