China’s leading L4 autonomous driving mobility company WeRide announced Thursday it completed the Series B2 and B3 financing, which were both led by commercial vehicle manufacturer Yutong Group, marking that WeRide has raised a total of $310 million in a Series B funding.
As the auto-driving unicorn’s first funding in 2021, the Series B2 and B3 came shortly after the company completed the Series B1 funding on Dec. 23 last year, which also saw the participation of Yotong Group.
Other investors include CMC Capital Partners, CDB Equipment Manufacturing Fund, Hengjian Emerging Industries Fund, Zhuhai Huajin Capital and Tryin Capital. Furthermore, Qiming Venture Partners, Sinovation Ventures and Kinzon Capital, all of whom were involved in the previous rounds, also joined.
“In the year 2021, more leading investors and partners are joining us, bringing in their strategic resources to fulfill the goal of commercializing self-driving technology,” said Tony Han, Founder and CEO of WeRide.
Han also said that the company is capturing the momentum in the AI-empowered mobility industry and will further accelerate research and development as well as the commercialization of WeRide’s technologies.
The company is currently strengthening the stability and safety of its self-driving systems.
Established in 2017 in Guangzhou, the company is a pioneer in China’s auto-driving industry, a field that has gained growing attention from the capital market.
Ruigang Li, a founding partner of CMC Capital Partners, remarked that the self-driving technology will be “a game-changer in the smart mobility market” and “one of the popular themes of the equity market.”
Qiming Venture Partners was the lead investor in WeRide’s Pre-A Round and continued to participate in both the Series A and B funding. “Qiming Venture Partners has always been bullish on the self-driving sector in China and has been fortunate enough to participate in every round of funding for WeRide since its inception,” said Duane Kuang, Founding Managing Partner of Qiming Venture Partners and WeRide’s Board Member.
“WeRide is the seventh AI unicorn Sinovation Ventures has invested in. We are looking forward to seeing WeRide accelerate the implementation of more self-driving services, such as Robotaxis and Mini Robobuses”, Dr. Kai-Fu Lee, Sinovation Ventures Chairman and CEO as well as President of its AI Institute, shared his view on Sinovation Ventures’ continuous investment in WeRide.
This year, WeRide plans to leverage its collaboration with Yutong Group to begin operating its Mini Robobuses. The company is planning to deploy its self-driving fleet to both downtown Guangzhou and other cities to expand its market reach.
Starting from Jan. 15, WeRide will launch trial operations on the Guangzhou International Bio Island, covering all of its business and commercial districts. Both WeRide Robotaxis and Mini Robobuses service will be available.
WeRide has also recently kicked off its Series C Round.