Only four months after securing Series B fundraising of $310 million, Chinese autonomous driving company WeRide says it has achieved its Series C funding round that brings its post-money valuation to $3 billion.
This is first time the company has disclosed its value. The company did not share how much it has raised this round, only noting that it’s in the “hundreds of millions,” according to a statement released by the company. WeRide intends to use this funding round to invest in R&D and commercialization as it works towards the next-generation of Level 4 driving, a term that means a vehicle can drive without human intervention in some environments and conditions. The company is also using the funds to prepare to commercialize its technology.
WeRide has scored a slew of large investments over the past year, including its $200 million strategic round in December from Chinese bus maker Yutong. The speed and scale of these investments signals that the company is burning through money and hungry for more, and that investors are banking on China’s tech. Rival Momenta has also received large sums this year, exceeding its $1 billion in valuation with recent investments of $500 million and total funding of more than $700 million.
“WeRide Master Platform (WMP), our core autonomous driving technology solution has helped to accelerate the company’s development,” Tony Han, founder and CEO of WeRide, said in a statement. “This drives the successful operation of our Robotaxi service in Guangzhou since 2019 and the introduction of the WeRide driverless Mini Robobus, a completely new product category to the autonomous industry.”
WeRide’s robotaxi pilot in Guangzhou began in 2019, but it began conducting test drives in the city’s Central Business District in January. Not long after, the company’s driverless Mini Robobus began road testing in Guangzhou and Nanjing. WeRide became the first autonomous driving company in China to secure an official license for online car-hailing operations in February, and in April, the California DMV issued WeRide a permit to test its driverless vehicles on public roads in San Jose, California.
Many investors participated in this most recent 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.