Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 29 November 2020

Mubadala joins consortium to invest $2.25bn in Google-owned Waymo

Other co-investors include Silver Lake, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Magna International and Andreessen Horowitz

A Waymo car being tested on the streets. The self-driving car has now been tested in more than 25 cities, clocking up over 20 million self-driven miles. Courtesy of Waymo.
A Waymo car being tested on the streets. The self-driving car has now been tested in more than 25 cities, clocking up over 20 million self-driven miles. Courtesy of Waymo.

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company joined a consortium that will invest $2.25 billion (Dh8.26bn) in Waymo, the self-driving technology company owned by Google’s parent Alphabet.

Other investors in the consortium include the US private equity company Silver Lake, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, automotive supplier Magna International, and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Mubadala said on Tuesday.

“Mubadala has built a strong portfolio of technology companies that are transforming sectors that are large, significant, and global,” said Waleed Al Muhairi, Mubadala’s deputy group chief executive and chief executive of alternative investments and infrastructure.

“The partnership with Alphabet, and the investment in Waymo, is aligned with our thesis in the transformation of mobility and transportation via autonomous technologies. In addition to partnering with one of the world’s leading technology companies, this is about investing in and backing one of the strongest management and technical teams in the industry."

Waymo’s vehicles have now self-driven more than 20 million miles on public roads across at least 25 cities, and over 10 billion miles in simulation, Mubadala said. Waymo’s factory in Detroit also shipped its first vehicles, including electric cars and Class 8 trucks integrated with the fifth-generation of hardware that has more powerful computing and more capable sensing.

The company’s public self-driving ride-hailing service, called Waymo One, serves thousands of customers in Arizona, and has provided “thousands of fully driver-less rides in a high-speed mixed usage market area larger than San Francisco”.

“With this injection of capital and business acumen, alongside Alphabet, we’ll deepen our investment in our people, our technology and our operations, all in support of the deployment of the Waymo Driver around the world,” said John Krafcik, chief executive of Waymo.

Since 2008, Mubadala has been an active investor in advanced technologies, and has a global presence with offices in Abu Dhabi, London, New York and San Francisco, partnering with leading tech funds to boost growth.

Mubadala is also looking to “significantly” increase its investments in life sciences and medical technology sector, its group chief executive Khaldoon Al Mubarak said last month.

Last week, the company announced an investment of €1bn (Dh3.98bn) in the French investment fund that will be managed by the country’s national investment bank, Bpifrance.

In 2018, Mubadala invested Dh70bn in various sectors but predominantly in technology.

Mubadala’s $229bn portfolio spans five continents with interests in multiple sectors including aerospace, ICT, semiconductors, metals and mining, renewable energy, oil and gas and petrochemicals.

Updated: March 3, 2020 01:14 PM

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