Waymo, the former Google The self-driving car project, now an Alphabet business, announced on Monday that it raised $ 2.25 billion in a fundraising session led by Silver Lake, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Mubadala Investment Company.
This is the company's first external investment, which also included Magna, Andreessen Horowitz and AutoNation and its parent company Alphabet.
"We have always approached our mission as team sport and worked with our OEM and supplier partners, our business partners and the communities in which we build and deploy the world's most experienced driver," said John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, on the company blog Monday posted. “Today we are expanding this team to include financial investors and key strategic partners who have decades of experience investing in successful technology companies and helping them develop transformative products. With this injection of capital and business acumen alongside alphabet We will deepen our investment in our people, technology and operations to support the worldwide use of the Waymo driver. "
The group follows a flood of activities in the past year that illustrated Waymo's efforts to develop into a trading company. Much of the activity focused on mapping and testing autonomous vehicle technology in new regions such as Florida, while expanding the core fleet in Mountain View, California and in the Phoenix area.
Waymo has long focused on testing and finally launching an on-demand hailstorm service called Waymo One with its autonomous vehicles in the suburbs around Phoenix. In October, Waymo began pulling security drivers out of some vehicles in its Waymo One service.
However, there were other enhancements, including the focus on finding new business applications for autonomous vehicle technology such as delivery and trucks, and the plan to sell its custom lidar sensors to companies outside of self-driving cars such as robotics and safety, and agricultural technology.
In January, Waymo announced plans to begin mapping and ultimately testing its autonomous long-haul trucks in Texas and parts of New Mexico.
Waymo has also grown through acquisitions and partnerships. Waymo acquired a British company called Latent Logic in December, which had emerged from the Oxford University Computer Science Institute. The company uses a form of machine learning called imitation learning that could reinforce Waymo's simulation efforts. The acquisition was the start of Waymo's first European engineering hub in Oxford, UK.
Last spring, Waymo hired more than a dozen engineers from Anki, the robotics startup that closed in April. The 13 robotics experts include Anki's co-founder and former CEO Boris Sofman, who leads engineering in the area of autonomous trucks.
Waymo also entered into an exclusive partnership with Renault and Nissan to investigate how commercial autonomous vehicles for passengers and packages could work in France and Japan.