London-based autonomous driving start-up Wayve has raised $200m (£146.7m) in a series B funding round led by Eclipse Ventures and supported by Microsoft and Virgin.
D1 Capital Partners, Baillie Gifford, Moore Strategic Ventures, and Linse Capital also provided funds for the first time, as did early-stage investors Balderton Capital and Compound.
This round brings the start-up’s total funding to $258m (£189,3m).
The funding is likely to make Wayve the UK’s first tech unicorn of 2022, predicts UKTN.
Founded in 2017, Wayve is pioneering ‘AV 2.0’ technology that uses cameras instead of more expensive LIDAR to detect the surroundings of a car or truck.
The start-up will use the funding to accelerate the development of AV 2.0, including the onboarding of new AI scientists.
Alex Kendall, co-founder and CEO of Wayve, commented: “Today, we have all of the pieces in place to take what we have pioneered and drive AV2.0 forward.
“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 at Eclipse Ventures, added: “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.”
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