TuSimple IPO Filing Shows Self-Driving Trucks Still a Money-Loser

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Self-driving company TuSimple Inc. unveiled paperwork for its initial public offering Tuesday showing it has lost more than $300 million over the past three years in the race to be the first to launch fully autonomous long-haul trucks.

TuSimple had already filed confidentially for an IPO, The Wall Street Journal reported, and the Tuesday filing offered the public the first detailed look at a startup that has attracted more funding than many of its Silicon Valley counterparts and maintained split operations in California and China.

Its China connections have caught the attention of U.S. regulators. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or Cfius, has identified TuSimple as a company meriting review because of its ties to China and because autonomous driving technology is considered a critical technology for the Department of Defense. Cfius alerted TuSimple this month that it was probing a Chinese investment in the company from 2017, according to the IPO filing.

TuSimple, which was founded in 2015, has amassed a workforce of about 800 and raised hundreds of millions of dollars from investors. The company posted revenue of $1.8 million last year and a net loss of $177.9 million, according to the filing, reflecting how it is still in the early stages of developing commercial technology.

TuSimple has so far earned money as a traditional freight-hauler, not from selling its self-driving technology ready in 2024. It has customer reservations for more than 5,700 trucks, although those aren’t equivalent to sales revenue.

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