Alphabet’s Waymo Raising $4B Amid IPO Talks – Report

Alphabet’s (GOOGL) self-driving unit Waymo is looking to raise more money from outside investors. Waymo offers ride-hailing services using driverless cars in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to transporting passengers, the trucking market is its other target.

According to a Bloomberg report, Waymo aims to raise as much as $4 billion to invest in its self-driving business, cited by unidentified sources. It raised $3.25 billion last year in two separate transactions where the first brought in $2.25 billion. Investors included private equity firm Silver Lake, AutoNation (AN), and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investments. That marked the first time Google’s sister company accepted money from outside investors.

Unidentified sources revealed to Bloomberg that Waymo is raising more money as it shuffles its executive team and explores an IPO. The company’s CEO John Krafcik is leaving and will be replaced by insiders Dmitri Dolgov and Tekedra Mawakana as co-CEOs.

The Alphabet unit is also looking for a new chief financial officer after Gerard Dwyer left. The other departures include head of automotive partnerships Adam Frost, head of manufacturing and supply chain Tim Willis, and Sherry House, who led investor relations.

Although Alphabet has diversified into businesses like driverless taxis and cloud computing, it still relies on advertising for the bulk of its revenue. (See Alphabet stock analysis on TipRanks)

Citigroup analyst Jason Bazinet downgraded Alphabet to Hold from Buy with a price target of $2,415, which implies 4.68% upside potential. The analyst cited a tough advertising market as a reason for downgrading the stock.

“Many investors believe ad intensity per dollar of economic activity is rising. We see little evidence of this,” noted Bazinet.

Consensus among analysts on Wall Street is a Strong Buy based on 26 Buy and 2 Hold ratings. The average analyst price target of $2,778.32 implies 20.43% upside potential to the current price.

GOOGL scores a “Perfect 10” on TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating the stock is likely to outperform the market.

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