Waymo raises $2.5 billion for self-driving vehicles
Company’s first external funding round comes with announcement of logistics service – Waymo Via
Waymo has announcing our first external investment round, led by Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Mubadala Investment Company. Additional investors in this initial $2.25 billion close include Magna International, Andreessen Horowitz, and AutoNation, as well as Alphabet.
Critically for the logistics sector, the company has an eye on transporting goods with the announcement of Waymo Via as part of the press surrounding the funding round. The company says it is focused on automating delivery. It is clear form the companies marketing that it hopes to take Waymo Via into heavy goods vehicles, as well as smaller vehicles for the last mile.
Waymo says its Waymo Driver system has now driven more than 20 million miles on public roads across over 25 cities, and over 10 billion miles in simulation with its Level 4 autonomous vehicles. A further milestone has been the shipping of the first vehicles (electric cars and Class 8 trucks) integrated with Waymo’s fifth-generation hardware. These are being made at Waymo's Detroit factory.
"We've always approached our mission as a team sport, collaborating with our OEM and supplier partners, our operations partners, and the communities we serve to build and deploy the world's most experienced driver," said John Krafcik, CEO, Waymo. “Today, we're expanding that team, adding financial investors and important strategic partners who bring decades of experience investing in and supporting successful technology companies building transformative products. With this injection of capital and business acumen, alongside Alphabet, we’ll deepen our investment in our people, our technology, and our operations, all in support of the deployment of the Waymo Driver around the world.”
“Waymo is the proven leader in self-driving technology, is the only autonomous vehicle company with a public ride-hailing service, and is successfully scaling its fully driverless experience,” said Egon Durban, Co-CEO, Silver Lake, and nominee for Waymo's Operating Board. “We’re deeply aligned with Waymo’s commitment to making our roads safer, and look forward to working together to help advance and scale the Waymo Driver in the U.S. and beyond.”