BEIJING — WeRide, a China-based autonomous driving startup, said on Wednesday that it would deepen development with the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance on autonomous driving technology for the China market as it raised $310 million.
The new investment values the entire company at $3.3 billion, Reuters reported.
WeRide, led by founder Tony Han, said Alliance Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi, has become the startup’s “lead strategic investor.” WeRide is pursuing what is known in the auto industry as a Level 4 autonomous standard, in which the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in most circumstances with no human intervention.
WeRide, which is testing vehicles in California, is headquartered in China’s southern city of Guangzhou.
Investors for the $310 million funding round include Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and China Structural Reform Fund, WeRide said in a statement. The company didn’t specify how much each company invested in the funding round.
Nissan Motor co. COO Ashwani Gupta said: “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.”
Automakers and technology firms are investing billions of dollars in autonomous driving, aiming to take an early lead in what many consider the future of mobility.
In Guangzhou, where several COVID-19 cases were reported in recent weeks, WeRide and several other autonomous driving companies, including Toyota-backed Pony.ai, are delivering essential goods to residents in locked-down communities using self-driving vehicles.