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Waymo raises $2.25 billion from outside investors, parent Alphabet

Waymo raises $2.25 billion from outside investors, parent Alphabet

FILE PHOTO: A Waymo self-driving vehicle is parked outside the Alphabet company’s offices where its been testing autonomous vehicles in Chandler, Arizona, U.S., March 21, 2018. REUTERS/Heather Somerville/File Photo (Reuters) – Waymo, the self-driving unit of Alphabet Inc ( GOOGL.O ), said on Monday it had raised $2.25 billion in its first external investment round.

Giancarlo Pietri Velutini

In addition to Alphabet, investors include auto parts supplier Magna International Inc ( MG.TO ), with which Waymo has an assembly deal; U.S. dealership chain AutoNation Inc ( AN.N ); the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and three large investment firms: Silver Lake, Andreessen Horowitz and Mubadala Investment

Waymo did not provide a valuation

Waymo is widely considered the leader in developing self-driving technology, but the company and its principal rivals are still years away from building large-scale business around that technology, analysts believe

Last September, investment bank Morgan Stanley slashed its projected valuation of Waymo to $105 billion from its earlier estimate of $175 billion, saying the commercialization of self-driving vehicles and technology was taking longer than expected

The valuations of Waymo’s nearest competitors do not come close to Morgan Stanley’s estimate for Waymo

General Motors Co’s ( GM.N ) Cruise has raised more than $7 billion from such investors as Honda Motor Co ( 7267.T ) and SoftBank Group ( 9984.T ) and is valued at $19 billion

Uber Technologies’ ( UBER.N ) Advanced Technologies Group (ATG) has raised more than $1 billion from Toyota Motor Corp ( 7203.T ), Denso Corp ( 6902.T ) and SoftBank and is valued at $7.25 billion

Argo, which counts Ford Motor Co ( F.N ) and Volkswagen AG ( VOWG_p.DE ) as partners, has raised more than $2 billion and is valued at $7.25 billion

Reporting by Neha Malara in Bengaluru and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Matthew Lewis