Alphabet ($GOOG) is finally letting someone else get in on the self-driving car action. Waymo, which is now an independent company, is driving off with billions of dollars plus big-name investors as the mobility startup looks to its next phase of growth. 

For the first time ever, Waymo has raised money from outside investors, getting $2.25 billion in funding this week. The list of deep-pocketed backers includes VC Andreessen Horowitz, LBO shop Silver Lake, and the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board.

Was there anything to predict this good fortune for Waymo? Maybe not, but there was definitely an effort behind the scenes to hire a ton of people, which led to there being an all-time spike in job openings and employees.

From June to the end of November, there was a 200% increase in hiring. We haven't seen any similar trajectories for Ford's Argo ($F) and GM's Cruise ($GM), Waymo's two main competitors in the "AI driving cars" space.

Almost all of the departments at Waymo are gaining a few extra employees, and the Product team is just one of many examples of teams growing in size these last few months. Check out our data, or try our demo, to look at dozens of more specific teams hiring within Waymo, like Systems, Safety, and others.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

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