China’s autonomous vehicle startup WeRide got a $310 million infusion of capital from investors, including the National Investment Fund and Alliance Ventures — the investment arm of Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi (RNM) — adding to WeRide’s Series C funding round, according to a press release.
WeRide has raised over $600 million in the past five months, bringing its valuation to $3.3 billion, the release stated. WeRide is targeting the car sector’s level 4 autonomous standard, which means the vehicle can drive under most conditions without human input.
Previous investors in the round include General Capital (a subsidiary of China Development Bank Equipment Fund), IDG Capital, Homeric Capital, CoStone Capital, Cypress Star, Sky9 Capital, K3 Ventures, CMC Capital Partners, Qiming Venture Partners, Alpview Capital and others.
WeRide has so far accumulated over 5 million kilometers (3.1 million miles) of autonomous driving and is planning to advance its driverless Robotaxi and Mini Robobus, according to the release.
“Being a top-notch player in [the] automobile industry, Nissan has been a key partner of ours,” said WeRide Founder and CEO Tony Han in a Medium post. “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,” he added in the post. “With the continued support of Nissan, we will accelerate the commercial use of our driverless Robotaxis in China.”
Nissan Chief Operating Officer Ashwani Gupta said in the Medium post: “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.”
Driverless car startup Pony.ai had a valuation estimated at $5.3 billion following its Series C funding round last year, PYMNTS reported. The Fremont, California, startup competes against numerous developers of driverless car technology — Cruise, Waymo, AutoX, WeRide and Baidu.