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Waymo Raises $2.5 Billion In External Funding Round

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Waymo will utilize the funding to help further its mission to bring its autonomous ride-hailing service to more markets

Self-driving startup Waymo has raised $2.5 billion in its second external funding round for advancing its autonomous driving technology, as per recent reports. 

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According to PitchBook, the Alphabet-backed company is valued at just over $30 billion prior to the recent funding round.

Alphabet’s backing acted as strong support for Waymo for several years. The company had announced its first external funding round of $2.5 billion in March last year and eventually managed to secure up to $3.2 billion a few months later with the addition of some investors.

Most of the same groups that participated in Waymo’s first external investment are back for this second round, including Waymo’s parent company Alphabet, 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 one new participant was Tiger Global.

As per a report, Waymo will utilize the funding to help further its mission to bring its autonomous ride-hailing service to more markets. 

Currently, the company’s robo-taxis are only available to the public in Arizona. Waymo also allows riders to take trips in its fully driverless vehicles without a safety driver in the front seat.

The news follows a string of departures from the company, most notably CEO John Krafcik, who oversaw the transformation of Google’s self-driving car division from “Project Chauffeur” to its own standalone company in 2016. He was replaced by Tekedra Mawakana, Waymo’s chief operating officer, and Dmitri Dolgov, the company’s chief technology officer, who is now serving as co-CEOs of the company.

Other departures include Waymo’s chief financial officer Gerard Dwyer and its head of automotive partnerships and corporate development Adam Frost, both of whom stepped down last May.

Notably, this announcement comes after rival company Cruise announced that it received a $5 billion line of credit from General Motors’ financial division for the purchase of hundreds of fully autonomous shuttles that will go into service starting in 2022.

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