Waymo raises R34.7bn from outside investors, parent Alphabet
Waymo, the self-driving unit of Alphabet Inc, said on Monday it had raised $2.25bn (about R34.7bn) in its first external investment round.
In addition to Alphabet, investors include auto parts supplier Magna International Inc, with which Waymo has an assembly deal; US dealership chain AutoNation Inc; the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and three large investment firms: Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz and Mubadala Investment.
Waymo did not provide a valuation.
The company is widely considered the leader in developing self-driving technology, but it and its principal rivals are still years away from building large-scale business around that technology, analysts believe.
Last September, investment bank Morgan Stanley slashed its projected valuation of Waymo to $105bn (about R1,6tn) from its earlier estimate of $175bn (about R2,7tn), saying the commercialisation of self-driving vehicles and technology was taking longer than expected.
The valuations of Waymo's nearest competitors do not come close to Morgan Stanley's estimate for Waymo.
General Motors Co's Cruise has raised more than $7bn (about R108bn) from investors such as Honda Motor Co and SoftBank Group, and is valued at $19bn (about R293bn).
Uber Technologies' Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) has raised more than $1bn (about R15bn) from Toyota Motor Corp , Denso Corp and SoftBank and is valued at $7.25bn (about R111,9bn).
Argo, which counts Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG as partners, has raised more than $2bn (about R30,8bn) and is valued at $7.25bn (about R111,9bn).