Image source: WeRide
Chinese driverless car start-up WeRide Corp announced Thursday it has raised new capital valuing the company at $3.3 billion dollars.
WeRide did not share how much was raised in the series C funding round, noting only that it was “hundreds of millions” of dollars from investors including IDG Capital, Homeric Capital, CoStone Capital, Cypress Star, Sky9 Capital and K3 Ventures. Existing investors CMC Capital Partners, Qiming Venture Partners and Alpview Capital also participated in the round.
With this new funding, WeRide will continue to strengthen its research and development capabilities and accelerate the commercialization of its services, according to founder and chief executive officer Tony Han.
Han said, “It has been rewarding to see that these remarkable achievements have resulted in investor optimism.”
TechCrunch noted that this is the first time WeRide has disclosed its value.
The latest funding round comes after a $310 million cash injection in January and $200 million in December.
Founded in 2017, WeRide is one of China’s most well funded autonomous vehicle technology startups with backers that include bus maker Yutong, facial recognition company SenseTime and Alliance Ventures, the venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mistubishi.
WeRide is one of several companies trying to take the lead in the autonomous driving business and is competing against other start-ups like AutoX and Pony.ai.
Han previously told CNBC he predicts the large-scale application of self-driving taxis will occur between 2023 and 2025. He also expects WeRide will start to make money from the business in 2025.
The majority of its operations are in China, but WeRide maintains a research and development facility in Silicon Valley.
The company is currently testing driverless vehicles in California, China’s southern city of Guangzhou and the central city of Zhengzhou.
Source: Equities News