- Waymo raises $2.25 billion funding in its 1st external investment round.
- Morgan Stanley slashes its projected valuation for Waymo to $105 billion.
- Waymo plans on expanding its partnerships and bringing more outside investors.
In its statement on Monday, Waymo announced that its 1st external investment round ended with successfully raising $2.25 billion in funds. Alphabet’s self-driving unit also highlighted that it is likely to bring more foreign investors on board later this year.
Monday’s announcement also declared that the self-driving unit has decided in favor of calling its trucking business Waymo Via.
Waymo And Competitors Are Year Away From Large-Scale Adoption Of The Self-Driving Technology
It has been around 11 years since Google launched Waymo as a small project. With an utter commitment to research and development, Waymo is now a world-popular name in the niche of self-driving automobiles. Alphabet’s subsidiary as well as its competitors, however, are expected to take years before the technology can be sufficiently sophisticated for large-scale adoption, according to the experts.
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As per Ruth Porat, the Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet Inc, bring outside investors to the team will work in Waymo’s favor in the long run as it’ll ensure greater discipline. CFO John Krafcik of Waymo, on the other hand, refrained from commenting on whether or not Alphabet can be expected to spin off or sell its self-driving unit. But he remarked on Monday that such could surely be a possibility in the time to come. According to Krafcik, foreign investments are a way to improve the company’s independence.
Other Alphabet, the major investors in Waymo include AutoNation Inc. (for service and maintenance of Waymo’s vehicles), Magna International Inc. (for assembly), and 3 prominent investment firms namely Mubadala Investment, Andreessen Horowitz, and Silver Lake. Moreover, Waymo has also partnered with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Morgan Stanley Slashed Its Waymo’s Projected Valuation To $105 Billion
While amount invested by other firms is not yet highlighted, AutoNation claims to have brought $50 million to the platform in its initial funding round.
From its previous project valuation of $175 billion, Morgan Stanley had recently slashed its estimate to $105 billion for Waymo. Stanley cited the unexpected delays in the commercialization of the aforementioned technology for the slashed estimate.
In its announcement on Monday, Waymo also highlighted its partnerships with giants like Jaguar Land Rover, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, and Lyft Inc. It further remarked that the company is currently seeking to expand its partnerships with transportation service providers, and automakers from across the globe. The details of such partnerships, however, weren’t divulged at this stage. Waymo also plans on offering transportation services (self-driving) with its ride-hailing segment, Waymo One.