Pony.ai, a Chinese self-driving startup backed by Toyota Motor, announced Friday that Lawrence Steyn, formerly vice chairman of investment banking at JPMorgan, will join the company as chief financial officer.
With nearly three decades of experience in the financial industry, Steyn's addition will help Pony.ai grow its business and its global footprint, the company said.
"We are pleased to welcome Lawrence to join Pony.ai to help drive the next phase of growth," said Pony.ai CEO James Peng, adding, " Lawrence’s significant global expertise will help write the next chapter of our story."
Steyn is a veteran financial industry executive who has led a number of large and far-reaching client relationships and transformational transactions in the strategy and capital markets sectors.
He previously served as a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs.
Pony.ai was founded in late 2016 and currently has a team of over 500 people. It has R&D centers in Silicon Valley, Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai, and operates Robo-Taxi locally.
In February 2020, Pony.ai announced it had raised $400 million from Toyota. In November, it raised $267 million, valuing it at $5.3 billion.
In February this year, Pony.ai announced that the first self-driving cars with its latest-generation system officially rolled off the standardized production line and will start all-weather self-driving open road tests in Guangzhou, Beijing, and Shanghai, and join the company's Robotaxi fleet for large-scale operations.
Reuters quoted Peng as saying on Friday that Pony.ai is considering a US IPO for its to help it achieve its goal of commercializing its driverless ride-hailing service.
"We're still debating and considering," said Peng, when asked by Reuters about the time frame for a public share sale.
The company plans to install its technology in hundreds of vehicles next year, and plans for that number to rise to tens of thousands by 2024-2025, Peng said.