The self driving unit of Alphabet, Waymo, said that it has raised $2.25 billion in its first external investment round, and is also expecting to on board outside investors. Waymo was founded 11 years ago as a small project inside Google, and is now considered as the leader in developing self driving technology.
Investors from outside would help Waymo be more disciplined as per Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat. Other than Alphabet, initial investors include auto parts supplier Magna International. Waymo had an assembly deal with the same. AutoNation, US dealership chain, that services and maintains Waymo’s vehicles and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. Also three large investment firms, Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz, and Mubdala Investment.
An amount of $50 million was being invested by AutoNation. However, as of now, Waymo didn’t provide a valuation yet. Last year in September, Morgan Stanley, the investment bank has slashed its projected valuation of Waymo to $105 billion, from its earlier estimate of $175 million.
However, it is noted that Waymo is planning to offer a range of self-driving transportation services, through its Waymo One ride-hailing business in Phoenix, via the new Waymo Via logistics business that would be bundling long and long-haul delivery.
Waymo had earlier partnered with Lyft Inc. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Jaguar Land Rover is considering partnerships with other automakers and transportation service providers in markets outside that of North America, but no details have been provided yet.
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