WeRide Technology, a Chinese self-driving tech startup, has discreetly filed to go public in the U.S. and is looking to raise as much as $500 million, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Currently valued at $4.4 billion after a Series D in March 2022, the driverless technology startup is reportedly deliberating with advisers on the IPO listing that could take place as early as in the first half of this year and is aiming to raise as much as $500 million, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The development follows the slow resumption of U.S.-bound China IPOs after Chinese lidar maker Hesai was listed on Nasdaq, becoming the biggest Chinese IPO in the U.S. since Didi’s debut in 2021.
The company had been cautious about its IPO moves over the past few years as geopolitical tensions saw U.S.-listed Chinese companies increasingly placed under Washington’s scrutiny, and a handful of Chinese companies put on the U.S. government’s delisting watchlist.
Established in 2017, and headquartered in Guangzhou, China, WeRide develops advanced autonomous driving technology for public transport to make trips safer and more efficient. Its current offerings include robotaxis, busses, vans, and street sweepers.
It also provides driving solutions for ride-hailing and on-demand transport firms with operations in Chinese cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, as well as in San Francisco.
WeRide is one of the most funded Chinese robotaxi operators and has raised a total of $1.4B in funding over 10 rounds, according to Crunchbase data including strategic investments from top-tier global automakers, such as Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Yutong Group.
The company achieved a 3.3 billion valuation after its Series C funding round in May 2021. Its valuation reportedly jumped to a higher $4.4 billion after pulling in the Series D round in March 2022.