Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOGL)(NASDAQ:GOOG) self-driving vehicle business, Waymo, took a step to bolster its liquidity by raising an additional $750 million as an extension of its first external investment round of $2.25 billion, for a total of $3 billion.
The additional funding will enable the company to continue investing in its workforce, technology, and innovation, and weather the economic slowdown driven by COVID-19.
"Waymo is the proven leader in self-driving technology, is the only autonomous vehicle company with a public ride-hailing service, and is successfully scaling its fully driverless experience," said Egon Durban, Co-CEO of Silver Lake and nominee for Waymo's Operating Board, in a press release.
The additional fundraising serves as a signal that while COVID-19 might be slowing down some smart mobility and autonomous vehicle development across the hard-hit automotive industry, it won't be slowing Waymo. The Waymo Driver has compiled more than 20 million miles on public roads across 25 cities, and a staggering 10 billion miles in simulation. The company's Detroit factory is the world's first dedicated to mass production of Level 4 autonomous vehicles. While weathering COVID-19 and its negative economic impacts is a focus, it's equally clear the company is aiming to become the most well-known and capable public self-driving ride-hailing service.