WeRide, a leading Chinese autonomous driving technology company, announced it had launched a series-C fundraising round, according to local reports.
The company also confirmed it has successfully raised US$310m in its recent series-B investment round which was led by local bus manufacturer Yutong Group and backed by a number of financial investors including CMC Capital Partners, Hengjian Emerging Industries Fund, CDB Equipment Manufacturing Fund, Zhuhai Huajin Capital and Tryin Capital.
WeRide is seen as one of China’s leading Level 4 (L4) autonomous driving technology companies. L4 allows vehicles to self-drive in most conditions on public highways.
Yutong is reported to have invested US$200m in the series-B round, making it the largest direct investor in WeRide from within the automotive industry.
The two companies are looking to apply L4 technologies to minibuses and city buses and also plan to explore opportunities to commercialise completely driverless vehicles (L5).
The two companies have already worked together on the development of the driverless mini ‘Robobus’, a front loading vehicle with no steering wheel, accelerator or brake pedals.
WeRide founder and CEO Tony Han suggested his company “is capturing the upward trend in the development of the AI-empowered mobility industry and is stepping up research and development and commercialisation of these technologies. We aim to strengthen the stability and safety of self-driving systems, operate our services while adhering to local regulations and strive to bring more self-driving products to the market”.
CMC Capital Partners founding partner Li Ruigang said WeRide “has an edge in core autonomous driving technologies and has made a great impact with the brilliant performance of the WeRide Robotaxi operation – the first of its kind in China”.