Nissan-backed self-driving startup WeRide secures $3.3bn fund

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
  • Follow author on
Representational News

WeRide, a China-based self-driving startup backed by Nissan, Renault, and Mitsubishi Motors has announced that it had raised “hundreds of millions” of dollars in a funding round estimated at $3.3 billion.

WeRide, which is testing vehicles in California, Guangzhou, China’s southern city, where it is headquartered, and Zhengzhou, China’s central city, did not reveal the amount of funding.

WeRide said in a statement that IDG Capital and Homeric Capital are among the investors in the new funding round. The firm has earlier raised $310 million in January.

WeRide is working toward a level 4 autonomous standard, which means the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in most situations without the need for human interference. The funds will also be used to plan for the commercialization of the company’s technologies.

It was granted permission last month to test two passenger vehicles on public roads in California without a safety driver in the front section.

WeRide has received a slew of big investments in the last year, including a $200 million strategic round from Chinese bus manufacturer Yutong in December. The speed and size of these investments indicate that the company is burning through cash and is looking for more and that investors are banking on China’s technology.

Mr. Tony Han, founder, and Chief Executive Officer WeRide remarked that “WeRide Master Platform (WMP), our core autonomous driving technology solution has helped to accelerate the company’s development. 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.”

Automakers and technology companies are investing billions of dollars into self-driving cars, hoping to be first to market in what many see as the future of mobility.

Related: Renault, Nissan eye for more savings on EV batteries