Waymo’s first external round of donations, originally intended to raise $ 2.25 billion for the self-driving company, grew to $ 3 billion thanks to the inclusion of some new investors.
On March 2, Waymo announced its first external investment round, which included investors such as Silver Lake, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Mubadala Investment Company, Magna International, Andreessen Horowitz, AutoNation and Waymo’s parent company Alphabet.
A new group of investors has been added to this round: funds managed by T. Rowe Price Associates, Perry Creek Capital and the Fidelity Management and Research Company.
To date, Waymo has been an outlier in the world of self-driving cars, relying almost entirely on the size of its parent company. With these new resources, the company plans to accelerate its plans to commercialize its revolutionary self-driving technology, which it believes will be even more important in a world that has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“COVID-19 has highlighted how fully self-driving technology can provide safe and hygienic personal mobility and delivery services,” said John Krafcik, Waymo CEO, in a statement.
The new cash is certainly welcome news for the respective Waymo and Alphabet finance teams, who are responsible for keeping the cash-intensive operations alive. Waymo is said to cost almost $ 1 billion to Alphabet and has low sales with its limited commercial robotic taxi service in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona.
One of Waymo’s new investors is no stranger to the world of electric and autonomous vehicles. T. Rowe Price Associates is a key investor in Waymo’s main competitor Cruise and in EV startup Rivian.
Waymo, which shut down its fleet in March in response to shutdown orders, has announced it will resume testing in Arizona this week. Before the pandemic, the company said it carried out 1,000 to 2,000 hail trips per week in Arizona, of which 5 to 10 percent were without human replacement drivers.