Waymo announced its first-ever outside funding in the amount of $2.25 billion, according to Business Insider. Waymo CEO John Krafcik said this is an initial round of funding. No valuation for the funding was announced.
- Silver Lake, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and Mubadala Investment Company led this funding round.
- Additional funding came from Magna International, Andreessen Horowitz, AutoNation, and Alphabet, which is Waymo’s holding company.
- Krafcik indicated that there is still interest from other investors.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik indicated that this is only an initial round of funding. (Photo: Getty Images)
Could Waymo spin off?
Waymo was formed back in 2016 from what started out as the Google Car project. It launched its Waymo One ridsharing service in 2018 in Arizona and is focused on developing what it calls a “driver” rather than labeling itself as a self-driving car company. It aims to develop a combination of hardware and software that could be applied to everything from a taxi to a tractor trailer.
This round of funding is not solely about the money. The company is committed to partnering with both financial investors and those who bring experience in investing in technology companies and helping those companies build new products. The combination of funding along with Alphabet’s resources and technical acumen are all a part of achieving its goals.
Krafcik said that a spinoff from Alphabet is a possibility in the future, although he also noted Waymo’s access to Alphabet’s resources gives the company a distinct advantage.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Obtaining outside funding will be a huge boost to Waymo, which is widely perceived as the industry leader in bringing self-driving cars to market.