( 06/23/2021 ) WeRide, a global leading autonomous driving company announced further updates on its Series C fundraising. The round of funding closed with the participation of Alliance Ventures, China Structural Reform Fund and Pro Capital (CDB Equipment Manufacturing Funds, an existing investor). The company has raised US$310 million in this latest round of funding. In total, the company has raised more than US$600 million in the past five months, bringing its valuation to US$3.3 billion.
This is the second investment on WeRide from Alliance Ventures, the venture capital fund of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi (RNM) Alliance. Alliance Ventures took part in WeRide’s Series A funding round in 2018 as the leading strategic investor. Today, Alliance Ventures takes part in WeRide’s Series C funding round following Nissan’s strategy to develop L4 autonomous driving technology for China. Nissan will continue to collaborate with WeRide with the intent to leverage their strengths to bring further synergy to promote research and development in autonomous driving technologies as well as business development in China.
Ashwani Gupta, COO of Nissan said: “Nissan has a long history of delivering leading-edge technologies in electrification and autonomous driving. Human-centric technologies are at the heart of our offerings and autonomous driving is a vital part of it. As China stands at the forefront of helping define the future of mobility, we are delighted to partner with WeRide to bring even more innovative technologies and services to enrich people’s lives in China.”
China Structural Reform Fund is a co-lead investor in WeRide’s Series C funding. Ran Wei, the General Manager of CCT Fund (the GP of China Structural Reform Fund) addressed, “We have been very optimistic about the development of autonomous driving. As one of the pioneers of autonomous driving in China, WeRide is leading the industry with its edge on proprietary technology, most of all, its product commercialization and well-executed operation. We believe this investment will fast-track the application of autonomous driving into urban transportation, delivering smart, safe, and green transportation experience.”
Chenhao Xu, the President & CEO of Pro Capital said: “We believe that the autonomous driving technologies will spearhead the next mobility revolution. WeRide has led the L4 autonomous driving industry with its advanced technology, experienced operations, and proven business model. We will continue to support WeRide on its journey to advance the technology and its wider application.”
Tony Han, the Founder and CEO of WeRide, said: “Being a top-notch player in automobile industry, Nissan has been a key partner of ours. Throughout the past three years, they have been playing a critical role in supporting WeRide’s autonomous driving platform, hence, enabling us to establish a leading fleet of Robotaxis. Being the first of its kind, the fleet has been providing a safe autonomous driving service to the public for over 18 months thus far. With the continued support of Nissan, we will accelerate the commercial use of our driverless Robotaxis in China.”
Since December 2020, WeRide has successfully completed two rounds of funding, demonstrating investors’ confidence in the company. Apart from Alliance Ventures, other investors include IDG Capital, Yutong Group, a global bus manufacturer, and a group of leading international institutional investors. WeRide has accumulated more than five million kilometers of autonomous driving mileage and is moving forward with the commercialization of its driverless Robotaxi and Mini Robobus.
WeRide aims to develop the most advanced autonomous driving technology, which will make our trips safer and more efficient. It has received strategic investment from top-tier global automakers, including Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, and Yutong Group. WeRide is the first startup in the world to hold driverless test permits in both China and the US.
Established in 2017, WeRide is headquartered in Guangzhou, China, and maintains R&D and operation centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuhan, Zhengzhou and Anqing, as well as San Jose in the US. It employs a highly skilled team and has extensive domestic and international experience in R&D, business models and business operations.
WeRide launched the first Robotaxi service, completely open to the public, in November 2019 in Guangzhou, covering an area of 144 square kilometers. Since June 2020, WeRide’s Robotaxi service became available to the public through Amap, a popular ride-hailing mobile app in China with 140 million monthly active users. A total of 147,128 trips were completed with more than 60,000 passengers during the first year of WeRide Robotaxi services.
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