Alphabet’s self-driving car startup Waymo raises a massive $2.25 billion in its first external funding round
Waymo, a self-driving startup owned by Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has raised a whopping $2.25 billion in its first external funding round. The round was led by Silicon Valley heavyweights including Alphabet itself, along with outside firms like Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz and AutoNation, which disclosed Monday that it invested $50 million in Waymo, the company announced Monday.
Waymo, which stands for a new way forward in mobility, is a self-driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to move around. Late last year, we wrote about Waymo when the company acquired self-driving AI startup Latent Logic as part of its push to expand into Europe.
Founded in 2017 by Joao Messias and Shimon Whiteson, Latent Logic, formally Morpheus Labs, has developed state-of the-art deep reinforcement learning techniques which allow robots to solve complex “human” tasks by learning from demonstration. The lead market for this technology is autonomous vehicles, where it can speed up the development of autonomous control systems, or test their performance and safety via simulated test cases with realistic human behaviors.
“We’ve always approached our mission as a team sport, collaborating with our OEM and supplier partners, our operations partners, and the communities we serve to build and deploy the world’s most experienced driver,” said John Krafcik, CEO, Waymo in a blog post. “Today, we’re expanding that team, adding financial investors and important strategic partners who bring decades of experience investing in and supporting successful technology companies building transformative products. With this injection of capital and business acumen, alongside Alphabet, we’ll deepen our investment in our people, our technology, and our operations, all in support of the deployment of the Waymo Driver around the world.”