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Waabi raises US$200M to launch self-driving freight trucks

Raquel Urtasun, founder of Waabi, is photographed at the Collision Conference in Toronto, Tuesday, June 18, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO — Self-driving truck developer Waabi Innovation Inc. says it has secured US$200 million in funding from investors including Nvidia, Volvo Group and Porsche Automobil Holding SE.

Waabi founder and chief executive Raquel Urtasun says with the funding in place, the company now has everything it needs to launch self-driving freight trucks in Texas in 2025.

The funding round, which also saw participation from several Canadian investors including Radical Ventures, Export Development Canada and BDC Capital’s Thrive Venture Fund, adds to the US$80 million Waabi has already raised.

The funding announcement included statements of praise from big names in tech, including Nvidia chief executive Jensen Huang, AI pioneer Geoffrey Hinton, and Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi who said he was excited by the scalability and capital efficiency of what Waabi is developing.

Waabi struck a partnership with Uber Freight last year that has seen the two conducting test runs with a safety driver, while in March, it announced it would use Nvidia's AI platform in its self-driving systems.

The Toronto-based company says the funding will be used to grow its commercial operations and expand its team in both Canada and the U.S.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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