Just four months after raising $ 310 million in Series B fundraising, Chinese autonomous driving company WeRide has reached its Series C funding round, which is valued at $ 3 billion after-the-money.
This is the first time the company has announced its worth. The company did not reveal how much it raised this round, only realizing that it was in the hundreds of millions, according to a statement released by the company. WeRide intends to use this round of funding to invest in R&D and commercialization as it targets the next generation of level 4 driving. This means that in certain environments and conditions, a vehicle can drive without human intervention. The company is also using the funds to prepare to commercialize its technology.
WeRide made a number of large investments over the past year, including China’s bus maker Yutong’s $ 200 million strategic round in December. The speed and scale of these investments signals that the company is burning money and hunger for more, and that investors are turning to China’s technology. Rival Momenta has also received large sums this year in excess of its $ 1 billion valuation, with recent investments of $ 500 million and total funding of more than $ 700 million.
“The WeRide Master Platform (WMP), our central solution for autonomous driving technology, has helped accelerate the development of the company,” said Tony Han, founder and CEO of WeRide, in a statement. “This is driving the successful operation of our Robotaxi service in Guangzhou since 2019 and the introduction of the driverless WeRide Mini Robobus, a completely new product category for the autonomous industry.”
WeRide’s Robotaxi pilot in Guangzhou started in 2019 but conducted test drives in the city’s central business district in January. Not long after, the company’s driverless mini robobus began road tests in Guangzhou and Nanjing. WeRide was the first autonomous driving company in China to receive an official license for online hail driving in February. In April, Californian DMV gave WeRide permission to test its driverless vehicles on public roads in San Jose, California.
Many investors participated in this last round, including IDG Capital, Homeric Capital, CoStone Capital, Cypress Star, Sky9 Capital and K3 Ventures as well as existing investors CMC Capital Partners, Qiming Venture Partners and Alpview Capital.