Nissan-backed self-driving startup WeRide raises new funds, puts value at $3.3 bln

WeRide, a China-based autonomous driving startup backed by Nissan (7201.T), Renault (RENA.PA) and Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T), said it raised “hundreds of millions” of dollars in a funding round that it said valued the firm at $3.3 billion.

WeRide, which is testing vehicles in California, as well as in China’s southern city of Guangzhou – where it is headquartered – and the central city of Zhengzhou, did not disclose details on the size of the funding.

Investors taking part in the latest funding round include IDG Capital and Homeric Capital, WeRide said in a statement on Thursday. It raised $310 million in January.

WeRide is pursuing what is known in the auto industry as a level 4 autonomous standard, in which the vehicle can handle all aspects of driving in most circumstances with no human intervention.

Last month it received a permit to test two passenger vehicles on California’s public roads without a safety driver in the front section.

Automakers and technology firms are investing billions of dollars in autonomous driving, aiming to take an early lead in what many consider the future of mobility.