Autonomous vehicle startup Wayve has raised £147 million in a Series B round of investment.
The London company, which featured on our TransportTech 50 ranking before Christmas, is a pioneer in artificial intelligence for self-driving vehicles.
Eclipse Ventures, a long-time supporter of Wayve, led the round with participation from new global financial investors including D1 Capital Partners, Baillie Gifford, Moore Strategic Ventures and Linse Capital.
Additional support came from Microsoft and Virgin plus early-stage investors Compound and Balderton Capital.
They join strategic investor Ocado Group and a prominent list of angel investors that include AI and industrial leaders, such as Sir Richard Branson, Rosemary Leith, Linda Levinson, David Richter, Pieter Abbeel, and Yann LeCun.
It takes total equity raised to over $258m since inception.
“We were the first team to develop the scientific breakthroughs in deep learning to build autonomous driving technology that can easily scale to new markets using a data-learned approach,” said co-founder and CEO Alex Kendall.
Wayve says its AV2.0 technology is designed to be the most adaptable AV system for fleet operators – quickly and safely adapting to new cities, different use-cases and vehicle types. It learns from its partner fleets including Ocado Group, Asda and DPD.
The conventional AV approach typically relies on an expensive and complex array of sensors and is operationally limited by HD maps and rules-based control strategies.
“Today, we have all of the pieces in place to take what we have pioneered and drive AV2.0 forward,” Kendall continued.
“We have brought together world-class strategic partners in transportation, grocery delivery and compute, along with the best capital resources to scale our core autonomy platform, trial products with our commercial fleet partners, and build the infrastructure to scale AV2.0 globally.”
Seth Winterroth, partner, Eclipse Ventures, said: “As the industry struggles to solve self-driving with traditional robotics, it is becoming increasingly clear that AV2.0 is the right pathway to build a scalable driving intelligence that can help commercial fleet operators deploy autonomy faster.
“Wayve is breaking new ground by building AVs that can adapt to driving in new cities, previously unseen in training. As the leaders in this field, they have assembled an exceptional team of machine learning experts and AV veterans to drive AV2.0 to reality.”AI