Waymo, a renowned US-based autonomous driving technology firm wholly owned by the Alphabet Inc., has reportedly announced that its first external funding round has grown to $3 billion following the addition of new investors. The self-driving firm initially expected to raise about $2.25 billion from this funding round.
In March 2020, the company had announced its first-ever external investment round, with AutoNation, Andreessen Horowitz, Magna International, Mubadala Investment Company, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Silver Lake, as well as the parent organization Alphabet participating in the funding.
The investment round was further expanded with new investors, including Fidelity Management and Research Company, T. Rowe Price Associates, and Perry Creek Capital.
The company has always been an outlier in the self-driving car industry, relying almost completely on the largesse of its parent firm. With these new funds, Waymo intends to bolster its plans of commercializing its revolutionary and exclusive self-driving technology. The company believes that this technology would be more important in a world that is witnessing a change by the COVID-19 pandemic.
John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, stated that the coronavirus has underscored how completely self-driving technology is capable of providing hygienic and safe personal mobility as well as delivery services.
The inflow of new cash is good news for Waymo’s and subsequently the Alphabet’s respective financial departments. Both these firms are responsible for keeping the cash-intensive works afloat. The self-driving company so far is stated to be costing Alphabet about $1 billion while it is only receiving a very paltry amount of income through its limited commercial robot taxi service operating within the suburban areas of Phoenix, Arizona.
One of the new investors of the company, T. Rowe Price Associates, is renowned in the electric and autonomous vehicle sector. It is also a key investor in Cruise, a greatest rival of Waymo, and has funded EV startup Rivian.