Faction Raises $4.3M to Develop Light EV Driverless Fleets

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Faction is excited to announce the completion of $4.3M in seed funding led by Trucks Venture Capital and Fifty Years. The round follows an investment from Y Combinator and participation in their Winter 2021 startup batch.

Faction is aiming at both micro-logistics and ride-on-demand with a right-sized approach to driverless fleets. The company has engineered unique electric three-wheel vehicles that are developed at a fraction of the cost of a typical automobile.

“Deploying safety-forward driverless vehicles at scale requires developing from the chassis up,” said Faction CEO, Ain McKendrick. “Using legacy automobiles for driverless operations is great for development and research projects, but we feel smaller vehicles are the key to alleviating the ever-growing problem of urban gridlock. Faction combines autonomy with remote human teleoperation, which doesn’t require us to wait for 100% autonomous technology. To us, autonomy is an optimization, driverless is a product.”

Seth Bannon, Founding Partner at Fifty Years, said, “By building from the ground up with driverless in mind instead of retrofitting existing vehicles, Faction is set to radically improve urban and suburban transportation, cut down on emissions, and create massive economic value in the process.”

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With the ability to move cargo or allow for a rider, Faction vehicles are targeted for urban use cases where trips usually fall into the range of 3-5 miles. Right-sizing vehicles for the majority of trips provides a significant boost in efficiency. A typical passenger car in the U.S. weighs 3,000 lbs and gets 30 MPG or 100 MPGe if electric. Given the size and weight, most of the energy is used to transport the car itself rather than the passengers or cargo. Faction’s three-wheeled electric vehicles will typically weigh around 1,000 lbs and target over 150 MPGe.

“Faction is taking a unique approach to both driverless technology and lightweight vehicle systems that can dramatically impact how we move goods and people,” said Jeffrey Schox, General Partner at Trucks Venture Capital. “Trucks is excited to support their vision for future transportation solutions.”

As a technology company, Faction is partnering with manufacturers of light electric vehicles to scale operational fleets and the company will be announcing the first customer trials later this year.


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