Korean auto giants Hyundai and Kia put more than $110 million in U.K. startup Arrival, which emerged from relative stealth today.
Company spokesperson said that the investment immediately makes Arrival one of Britain’s most valuable startups, valuing it at €3 billion ($3.4 billion),. According to the latest research from CB insights, only five other U.K. startups are worth more than this.
Although a five year old London based company that has about 800 employees across five countries, including Germany, the United States and Russia, Arrival has been cagey about its activity until now.
Their idea is to make electric vehicles at similar costs to traditional fossil fuel vehicles but by drastically cutting costs by using “microfactories” close to major cities for manufacturing.
Its modular “skateboard” platform will allow a range of models to be built on one system and its prototypes are already participating in trials by global delivery companies such as DHL, UPS and Royal Mail.
Hyundai’s president and chief innovation officer Youngcho Chi said in a statement that“This investment is part of an open innovation strategy pursued by Hyundai and Kia”
Hyundai is understood to be investing $35 billion in autonomous driving and electric cars.
Last year Hyundai announced a $35 billion commitment to develop self-driving technology and electric vehicles. As part of that, it wants to release 23 types of electric vehicles by 2025. Last week, it unveiled a flying taxi concept with Uber at the CES tech conference in Las Vegas.