Explore potential ways to own Waymo stock and if a spinoff or IPO is in the cards. Get access to select pre-IPO companies at Equitybee.
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Waymo Stock IPO News
02/12/2024: A Waymo robotaxi was vandalized in SF
10/26/2023: Uber begins offering rides in self-driving Waymo cars
09/20/2023: Waymo begins testing the waters for LA robotaxi service
08/31/2023: NYT: Along for the Ride, With No One Behind the Wheel
What is Waymo?
From their website:
Waymo is an autonomous driving technology company with a mission to make it safe and easy for people and things to get where they’re going. Since our start as the Google Self-Driving Car Project in 2009, Waymo has been focused on building the Waymo Driver—The World’s Most Experienced DriverTM—to improve everyone’s access to mobility while saving thousands of lives now lost to traffic crashes.
Waymo believes it can make driving safer and reduce traffic deaths with autonomous cars and trucks. The company is testing its cars in select cities in the U.S.
Driverless cars have long been a dream of Silicon Valley futurists. But the years keep passing, and we’re all still behind the wheel.
If Waymo can live up to its mission, perhaps the autonomous driver technology company will become autonomous itself — through an IPO or spinoff.
Here’s a video about the company:
Is Waymo Publicly Traded?
Not directly. Waymo is a subsidiary of Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and part of its “Other Bets” business segment.
It is also a venture capital-backed startup, having conducted three private funding rounds.
Who Owns Waymo?
Since Waymo is a subsidiary of Alphabet (GOOG), Waymo is part-owned by Alphabet shareholders.
So if you own Alphabet or a mutual fund or ETF that holds Alphabet, you own a small portion of Waymo.
Waymo has conducted two significant external funding rounds since its founding in 2009, raising $5.5 billion.
Prominent venture capital investors that participated include Andreessen Horowitz, AutoNation, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Fidelity, Magna International, Mubadala Investment Company, Perry Creek Capital, Silver Lake, T. Rowe Price, Temasek, and Tiger Global.
The current Waymo valuation is estimated to be $30 billion. The latest funding round was completed in June 2021, when the company raised 2.5 billion.
The Waymo valuation soared in 2019 when driverless cars were all the rage. The valuation was as high as $175 million.
In hindsight, that was ridiculous.
Does a Waymo IPO or Spinoff Make Sense?
Alphabet shareowners own a large stake in Waymo. But Alphabet also tapped into private equity and venture capital funding in 2020 and 2021 to help spread risk and fund growth.
When startups take on private funding, the investors expect a return. Venture capital investors are more patient than most, often with a 7-10 year investment horizon.
Therefore, a Waymo IPO or spinoff from Alphabet would reward private investors and Alphabet shareholders. An IPO could potentially raise additional capital from the public markets.
As an IPO, Waymo could raise additional funds and pay out early investors.
The transaction could also be a spinoff, which may be a more tax-efficient outcome for Alphabet investors and would still give private investors liquidity.
Either way, Waymo must further validate its technology and business model before becoming a viable independent entity.
When is the Waymo IPO Date?
The Waymo IPO date is currently unknown.
Alphabet has yet to file S-1 public paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to declare intent for a Waymo IPO or spinoff.
We’ll get a better sense of when the Waymo IPO will be when we learn about the hiring of an underwriter, an S-1 filing (public or confidential) is announced, or when the press learns of an IPO date range.
Waymo may remain a subsidiary of Alphabet for many years, especially considering its long road to profitability.
Or the company may spin off an independent entity.
What is the Waymo Stock Symbol? Waymo Ticker?
Waymo is still a business unit under Alphabet, so there is no Waymo stock symbol yet.
Here are a few Waymo ticker suggestions that appear to be available in the U.S.:
WM is already taken by Waste Management.
What is the Waymo Stock Price?
There is no Waymo stock price yet. The company is part of Alphabet.
The current Alphabet stock price is below.
Can You Buy Waymo Stock on Pre-IPO Marketplaces?
The author has yet to see evidence of any Waymo stock availability on pre-IPO investing platforms based in the U.S.
Because of the unique ownership structure as a subsidiary under Alphabet, it may be unlikely that private shares become available.
A venture capital fund such as the Fundrise Innovation Fund could become a direct owner through a future private round, allowing retail investors access for only a $10 minimum investment.
However, Waymo exposure is not available via the fund at this time.
Please note: This is a testimonial in partnership with Fundrise. We earn a commission from partner links on AccessIPOs.com. All opinions are my own.
How to Invest in Waymo
Since Waymo is not a public company, becoming a direct equity owner is challenging.
However, one obvious way to own a piece of the company is below.
Otherwise, you’ll need to be patient for shares to begin trading after an IPO or spinoff.
1. Buy Alphabet Stock
Buy Alphabet stock to own a small portion of Waymo. Waymo is a business unit under Alphabet.
Alphabet’s stock symbols are GOOG and GOOGL.
Alphabet stock owners will be entitled to any future spinoffs, IPOs, or other transactions.
My favorite online broker for long-term buy-and-hold investors to own individual stocks is M1 Finance.
M1 Finance does not provide IPO access.
2. Monitor Waymo on Pre-IPO investing platforms
The author has yet to see evidence of Waymo shares being available on pre-IPO platforms.
Investors can monitor pre-IPO investing platforms such as Equitybee, Forge Global, EquityZen, and Linqto for share availability.
However, due to the unique private/public ownership structure of Waymo, private direct ownership may be elusive.
If shares become available, expect to pay at least a $10,000 investment minimum. It’s free to sign up for data and deal alerts.
Check out our list of top pre-IPO investing platforms for current share availability.
3. Buy the during the Waymo IPO through a participating broker
IPO investors may identify opportunities to invest during the IPO if it occurs. That means acquiring shares at the IPO price the night before the company begins trading.
Once reserved for Wall Street’s wealthiest customers, IPO access has become more attainable to retail investors in the past five years.
The online brokers listed below give customers free access to IPOs, even with low account balance minimums.
Brokers often negotiate exclusive IPO share allocations to retail investors. Your access to specific high-demand IPOs may be limited by how many brokerage accounts you have and what broker gets exclusive access.
TradeStation has a longer track record of accessing more than 200 IPOs and secondary offerings via its partnership with ClickIPO.
Robinhood and SoFi have the advantage of Silicon Valley networks and a history of getting allocations for high-profile IPOs (e.g., Sweetgreen, Rivian).
Review this list of best brokers for IPO investing to learn more about IPO access for retail investors.
4. Buy Waymo stock after the Waymo IPO
Though waiting for the IPO requires patience, there are advantages to waiting for the stock to become publicly traded before owning.
First, an IPO or spinoff would allow investors to review detailed financials. Waymo, as a business unit, has limited information available for due diligence.
Second, IPO stock prices typically rise with high-demand companies. You can benefit if you’re in early and sell when the price overheats.
Many IPOs start with an immediate price increase (“the pop”). Then the stock falls once quarterly earnings reports become available.
Avoid buying overvalued shares immediately after the IPO. Shares often fall after the IPO due to lockup expirations and quarterly earnings disappointments.
However, the most disruptive companies will be higher in a decade. Patience pays.
Buy post-IPO stocks with any online broker. My favorite is M1 Finance, which is the best for long-term buy-and-hold investors.
M1 Finance does not provide IPO access.
5. Participate in the Waymo Directed Share Program
Another possibility is a directed share program.
When companies file their S-1 SEC filing to begin the IPO process, they sometimes include a directed share program for executives, affiliates, and others who helped the company grow.
Waymo can attribute its success to its early riders, highlighting rider stories on social media.
This presents a unique opportunity to offer IPO shares to the Waymo rider community or Alphabet shareholders.
Similar IPO participation has occurred in the past.
- Uber offered shares to drivers that completed a certain number of trips
- GoPro offered shares to its email list
- Airbnb offered IPO shares to hosts
- Robinhood offered IPO access to the Robinhood IPO
Considering Waymo’s focus on riders, a directed share program would be an excellent way to say thank you.
In addition, directed share programs reduce the number of shares allocated to Wall Street’s best customers, further emphasizing the important role of individual creators in our society.
Bookmark this page for more information as the IPO approaches.
Where can I find the Waymo IPO S-1 Filing?
Waymo has yet to submit an S-1 filing to the SEC. When the company does, we’ll share it here.
In the meantime, you can check out the most recent S-1 filings in our S-1 filings feed.
Waymo News Archive
08/03/2023: Waymo’s robotaxis coming to Austin, Texas
07/26/2023: Waymo puts the brakes on self-driving trucks program
05/23/2023: Uber to offer autonomous services using Waymo’s robotaxis
02/17/2023: Waymo expands service in San Francisco
02/10/2023: I took a ride in Waymo’s self driving taxi: here’s how it went
06/16/2021: Waymo raises $2.5 billion in first fresh funding in a year
03/02/2020: Waymo raises $2.25 billion in first external funding round
Waymo is a unique business entity. It’s a subsidiary of Alphabet and has venture capital investors invested in its future.
Since Waymo has taken private funding, the future of Waymo could be as a separate independent company from Alphabet.
But Waymo has yet to prove itself to be a viable autonomous company, let alone profitable. Consequently, we expect Waymo to remain within the confines of Alphabet until the technology and safety catch up with the Silicon Valley hype of driverless cars.
If Waymo stock is on your radar, good luck. Invest in pre-IPO and IPO companies with caution.
* Disclosure: The web page contains affiliate links from our partners. If a reader opens an account or buys a service from a link in this article, we may be compensated at no additional cost to the reader. Opening an account with a broker that provides access to IPOs does not guarantee the customer allocations of specific IPOs. The author is long WM, RIVN, HOOD, ABNB.