Alphabet's Self-Driving Unit Waymo Raises $2.5 Billion

Kimberly Redmond  |

Video source: YouTube, Waymo

Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit Waymo announced Wednesday it raised $2.5 billion in a second external funding round. 

The funds from the round, which included more than 10 participants, will be used for advancing Waymo Driver, the company’s autonomous driving technology, and to grow its team, Waymo said in a press release.

Participants in this latest round include Alphabet, Andreessen Horowitz, AutoNation, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fidelity, Magna International, Mubadala Investment Company, Perry Creek Capital and Silver Lake.

Waymo did not disclose the valuation associated with the round, but investor website PitchBook has estimated the company to be valued at just over $30 billion. 

Launched in 2009, Waymo has tested various self-driving vehicles in several states and deployed its vehicles in Phoenix as a ride-hailing service. It applied earlier this year to bring its driverless taxis service to San Francisco

Waymo’s delivery unit, Waymo Via, is also working with freight partners and delivery clients, like United Parcel Service and JB Hunt Transport Services, to transport goods in a pilot program. 

“Experience has taught us so much, and we agree with those experts who say there’s no greater challenge in artificial intelligence than building and deploying fully autonomous technology at scale,” Tekedra Mawakana and Dmitri Dolgov, Waymo’s co-CEOs, said in a statement.

“Our mission is to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going, and we’re grateful to our investors for believing in this mission, in our technology and in us.”

In March 2020, Waymo announced its first external funding round of $2.5 billion, a figure that grew to $3.2 billion a few months later with the addition of some investors. 

CNBC noted that the latest round follows the departure of Waymo’s chief executive officer John Krafcik in April amid criticism the company was moving too slowly toward commercialization of its technology. 

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Source: Equities News

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