Waymo announces another $2.5 billion in funding from latest investment round
Waymo LLC, an American autonomous driving technology startup and a subsidiary of Google’s parent firm Alphabet Incorporated, has announced a new round of investment funding to collect $2.5 billion to hire more staff and press on its self-driving technology toward more paid rides. Founded by Alphabet in 2009 as a self-driving car project, it was officially renamed as Waymo in 2016. In the last half a decade period, the startup has tested its various autonomous vehicles in a number of states in the U.S. In addition, it has been providing charging services to driverless cars in Chandler, Arizona.
Claiming that its driverless vehicles have successfully travelled more than 83,000 autonomous miles in the San Francisco area, the startup is now seeking regulatory approvals to start paid rides. It has already filed applications claiming that it is in a position to immediately start paid driverless rides if the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approves it plans.
Currently, Waymo has two autonomous offerings-- the Jaguar I-Pace SUX and the Chrysler Pacifica minivan.
Dmitri Dolgov, chief operating officer (COO) of the startup, said, “Experience has taught us so much … we love a challenge and - thanks to the unmatched talent of our team - the Waymo Driver is already serving thousands of Waymo One riders as they get to work, shop for groceries, bring their kids to school, or just experience the joy of a ride with no human behind the wheel.”
With the just announced new funding round, Waymo is apparently trying to strengthen its feet in the field of autonomous mobility technology and gather some funds pending the application approvals in the Golden State. The startup aims to gather funds totaling $2.5 billion, and emerging media reports claims that the investment will be led by Alphabet, in addition to other existing stake holders in the futuristic business.
The list of other investors includes funding from AutoNation, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fidelity Management & Research Company, Silver Lake, Mubadala Investment Company, Tiger Global, Magna International, and Perry Creek Capital.
The newly announced funding round is the startup’s second attempt to gather funds. The first round of external funding was launched in March last year to gather $2.25 billion, but the funding round was extended and the startup gathered $3.25 billion by the month of July. Following the latest influx of cash, the startup will have nearly $6 billion to fund its autonomous vehicle business.
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