Waabi Raises $200M USD to Launch Fully Driverless Trucks in 2025

| June 18, 2024

Breakthrough generative AI technology enables unprecedented pace of development and capital efficiency in self-driving 

 Waabi, a company pioneering generative AI for the physical world, has raised $200 million (USD) in an oversubscribed Series B round, led by Uber and Khosla Ventures. The funding round includes participation from best-in-class strategic investors NVIDIA, Volvo Group Venture Capital, Porsche Automobil Holding SE, Scania Invest and Ingka Investments. Additional financial investors include HarbourVest Partners, G2 Venture Partners, BDC Capital’s Thrive Venture Fund, Export Development Canada, Radical Ventures, Incharge Capital, and others. The new funding, which brings total investment in Waabi to more than $280 million (USD), will support the company’s deployment of fully driverless, generative AI-powered autonomous trucks in 2025. 

Only three years on from the company’s inception Waabi is on the verge of reaching Level 4 autonomy. This industry-leading pace and capital efficiency is made possible through the company’s revolutionary approach to unleashing generative AI in the physical world. 

Waabi has pioneered a single end-to-end AI system that is capable of human-like reasoning, enabling it to generalize to any situation that might happen on the road, including those it has never seen before. Because it is able to reason, the system requires significantly less training data and compute resources compared to other end-to-end approaches. Further departing from these approaches, Waabi’s system is fully interpretable and its safety can be validated and verified. The innovation marks a first across autonomous vehicles and AI systems deployed in the physical world. This end-to-end AI system, paired with Waabi World, the world’s most advanced simulator, reduces the need for extensive on-road testing and enables a safer, more efficient solution that is highly performant and scalable from day one.

“I have spent most of my professional life dedicated to inventing new AI technologies that can deliver on the enormous potential of AI in the physical world in a provably safe and scalable way,” said Raquel Urtasun, Founder and CEO of Waabi. “Over the past three years, alongside the incredible team at Waabi, I have had the chance to turn these breakthroughs into a revolutionary product that has far surpassed my expectations. We have everything we need — breakthrough technology, an incredible team, and pioneering partners and investors — to launch fully driverless autonomous trucks in 2025. This is monumental for the industry and truly marks the beginning of the next frontier for AI.”

This round of investment brings together pioneers and trailblazers across deep tech, AI, automotive, as well as shipping and logistics ecosystems, all in support of Waabi’s innovative approach and ambitious vision. With the infusion of strategic capital, Waabi is well positioned to launch fully driverless trucks in Texas, expand driverless operations to new geographies, and transform the supply chain.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Uber 
“We are big believers in the potential for autonomous technology to revolutionize transportation, making a safer and more sustainable future possible. Raquel is a visionary in the field and, under her leadership, Waabi’s AI-first approach provides a solution that is extremely exciting in both its scalability and capital efficiency.”

Vinod Khosla, Founder of Khosla Ventures
“Change never comes from incumbents but from the innovation of entrepreneurs that challenge the status quo. Raquel and her team at Waabi have done exactly that with their products and business execution. We backed Waabi very early on with the bet that generative AI would transform transportation and are thrilled to continue on this journey with them as they move towards commercialization.”

Jensen Huang, Founder and CEO of NVIDIA
“Waabi is developing autonomous trucking by applying cutting-edge generative AI to the physical world. I’m excited to support Raquel’s vision through our investment in Waabi, which is powered by NVIDIA technology. I have championed Raquel’s pioneering work in AI for more than a decade. Her tenacity to solve the impossible is an inspiration.”

Geoff Hinton, AI Luminary 
“Self-driving technology is a prime example of how AI can dramatically improve our lives. Raquel and Waabi are at the forefront of innovation, developing a revolutionary approach that radically changes the way autonomous systems work and leads to safer and more efficient solutions.”

Nils Jaeger, President of Volvo Autonomous Solutions
“With autonomy, we are at the forefront of a new and complementary transport mode that will alleviate freight capacity constraints and by that enhance trade and economic growth. As Volvo Group we feel confident that continued investment into a competitive autonomous driving landscape will not only stimulate additional technological capabilities- but enable the evolution and maturity of the autonomous vehicle industry. Waabi has shown great progress since the first investment, and we are happy to share our continued support by participation in this round.”

Lutz Meschke, Member of the Executive Board for Investment Management at Porsche Automobil Holding SE
“With its innovative AI-powered approach, Waabi has built a convincing, cost-efficient, and scalable solution to enable safe autonomous driving across a variety of applications. Their autonomous trucking technology has enormous potential to solve some of the key challenges facing that industry. We are proud to back this company as they lead the way to a new autonomous future.”

Peter van der Poel, Managing Director of Ingka Investments:
“Waabi’s advancements in autonomous vehicle technology very much align with our commitment to innovation and sustainable transportation solutions. Waabi’s AI-driven approach promises significant strides in safety, efficiency, and environmental impact, which are important for the future of logistics. This investment reinforces Ingka Group’s dedication to fostering technologies that contribute to a more sustainable and accessible world.”

Isabelle Hudon, President and CEO, Business Development Bank of Canada
Congratulations to Waabi on securing one of the largest series B financing in Canadian history. As part of our efforts to invest in Canada’s most innovative women-led businesses and accelerate their journey, BDC’s support for Raquel since Waabi’s inception has been steadfast, and we’re proud to further strengthen our commitment to help bring her bold vision to life. Waabi is not only shaping the future of transportation, but also solidifying Canada’s position as a leader in AI and pushing the boundaries of what it can help us achieve.”

The new capital will also be used to grow Waabi’s commercial operations and expand the company’s team in both Canada and the United States. It builds on recent momentum for Waabi including the opening of its new Texas AV trucking terminal, a collaboration with NVIDIA to integrate NVIDIA DRIVE Thor into the Waabi Driver, and its ongoing partnership with Uber Freight, running autonomous shipments for Fortune 500 companies and top tier shippers in Texas.

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