Chinese autonomous driving startup WeRide bags $200M in funding
WeRide, certainly one of China’s most-funded startups growing autonomous driving capabilities, mentioned on Wednesday that it has raised a $200 million strategic spherical from Chinese bus maker Yutong.
Mega investments aren’t unusual at firms like WeRide growing the next-generation stage four driving commonplace, which denotes that the automotive can deal with nearly all of driving conditions independently with out human intervention.
WeRide didn’t disclose its valuation for this spherical, which is the primary tranche of its Sequence B spherical, an organization spokesperson informed TechCrunch.
The brand new funding will see WeRide becoming a member of arms with Yutong, a 57-year-old firm, to make autonomous driving minibusses and metropolis buses in addition to work on R&D, automobile platforms and mobility companies collectively. The companions have already collectively developed a front-loaded driverless minibus for mass-production. The mannequin, which comes with out a steering wheel, accelerator or brakes, is designed for working in city open roads, mentioned WeRide
Alliance Ventures, the strategic enterprise capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, grew to become WeRide’s strategic investor in 2018 following the completion of the startup’s Sequence A spherical, which was partially funded by the Chinese facial recognition big SenseTime.
Autonomous driving startups in China are racing to showcase their progress, partly to draw funding for his or her cash-bleeding companies. Alibaba-backed AutoX, as an illustration, started deploying driverless automobiles on the roads in Shenzhen in a daring transfer. WeRide and its rivals are testing varied ranges of autonomous driving autos in each the USA and main Chinese cities the place native insurance policies are supporting the futurist transportation tech.
“Capital’s perspective is shifting and more and more bullish about autonomous driving and its industrial future following the COVID-19 pandemic [in China]. Many investments are taking place on this house as a result of buyers don’t need to miss out on any potential leaders in autonomous driving,” the WeRide spokesperson mentioned. “Our Sequence B spherical has attracted quite a lot of curiosity.”
WeRide’s opponents embody Pony.ai in its yard Guangzhou, AutoX and Deeproute.ai in Shenzhen, Momenta in Suzhou, Baidu in Beijing, to call just a few.