Waymo has added an additional $800 million to the $2.25 billion funding round that it first announced in March, bringing the total size of the financing (its first from investors outside of Alphabet) to $3 billion. The extension comes from new investors including those managed by T. Rowe Price, Perry Creek Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company and others.
The extension, like the original round itself, will be used by Waymo to invest in its workforce, product development and operating its Waymo One ride-hailing service, as well as its Waymo Via cargo and goods transportation service.
Waymo’s move to bring in external funding is seen as a way for the autonomous driving company to inject fresh capital into its program, as well as bring on new strategic partners, like Magna and AutoNation, which participated in the previously announced tranche. While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a temporary setback when it comes to its testing and service deployment programs, Waymo notes in a new blog post from CEO John Krafcik that the crisis actually underscores the need for its technology.
“COVID-19 has underscored how fully self-driving technology can provide safe and hygienic personal mobility and delivery services,” Kracik notes in the post. “We’re grateful these partners share our mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going.”