Waymo has just announced a second round of external funding, raising $ 2.5 billion for the continued advancement of its autonomous driving technology.
According to investor website PitchBook, the company is valued at just over $ 30 billion, although that figure does not include this latest round of funding. (A spokesperson did not respond to a request for clarification.) For years, the company has relied almost exclusively on largesse from its parent company, Alphabet. Then, in March 2020, he announced his first external roundtable of $ 2.5 billion, a figure that rose to $ 3.2 billion a few months later with the addition of some investors.
The same groups that took part in Waymo’s first external investment are back for this second round, including Alphabet, Waymo’s parent company, Andreessen Horowitz, AutoNation, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Mubadala Investment Company, Perry Creek Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Magna International, Silver Lake, Temasek, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates. The only new participant was Tiger Global.
Waymo says the money will help continue its mission of bringing its self-driving rideshare service to more markets. Currently, the company’s axis robots are only available to the public in Arizona in an approximately 100 square mile service area that includes the towns of Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, and Tempe. Waymo also allows drivers to make trips in its fully driverless vehicles without a safety driver in the front seat, although the service area for these vehicles is only around 50 square miles.
The news follows a series of departures from the company, including CEO John Krafcik, who oversaw the transformation of Google’s self-driving car division from “Project Chauffeur” to his own autonomous company in 2016. He was replaced. by Tekedra Mawakana, Head of Waymo. chief operating officer, and Dmitri Dolgov, the company’s chief technology officer, who are now the company’s co-CEOs.
“Experience has taught us so much, and we agree with these experts who say that there is no greater challenge in artificial intelligence than to build and deploy fully autonomous technology at scale,” Dolgov and Mawakana said in a statement. “But we love a challenge and – thanks to the unsurpassed talent of our team – the Waymo Driver is already serving thousands of Waymo One riders when they commute to work, shop, take their kids to school, or just experience the ride. joy of a ride without a human behind the wheel.
Other departures include Waymo’s chief financial officer, Gerard Dwyer, and his head of automotive partnerships and corporate development, Adam Frost, both of whom resigned last May.
This is also the latest news regarding the influx of new cash into the autonomous vehicle space, plagued by missed deadlines and reduced expectations in recent months. Yesterday, Cruise announced that it had received a $ 5 billion line of credit from General Motors’ financial division for the purchase of hundreds of fully autonomous shuttles that will enter service from 2022.