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Swedish self-driving truck start-up Einride raises more cash

Handout photo shows Einride's electric self-driving truck Einride Pod

By Marie Mannes

(Reuters) - Swedish electric self-driving truck start-up Einride said on Wednesday it had agreed to raise capital of $500 million from debt, equity and the conversion of earlier loans, speeding up the company's ability to pursue new markets and customers.

A $300 million debt facility was signed with Barclays Europe, while $200 million in equity came from new and existing investors, including EQT and Northzone, Einride said in a statement.

Some $90 million of the equity came in the form of earlier debts being converted to shares. Einride declined to say how much the company was valued at following the latest share issue.

Some fast-growing tech companies have struggled to raise funds this year while others, such as Swedish payments firm Klarna Bank, have attracted investors by giving deep discounts compared to earlier valuations.

"The time is now to act on not only developing but accelerating the implementation of technology that will create a cleaner, safer and more efficient way to move goods," said Einride's founder and Chief Executive Robert Falck.

The company's business is based on self-driving technology for freight trucks, which has attracted investor attention in recent years as it is deemed to be cheaper as well as easier to roll out compared to self-driving cars.

Self-driving freight services require less mapping than other technology as they run on fixed routes between predefined points, mostly on major highways without intersections or pedestrians.

(Reporting by Marie Mannes, editing by Terje Solsvik and Louise Heavens)