Business Venture

Cruise Drives Away With $1.15B In Funding At $19B Valuation

Cruise, a developer of technology for self-driving vehicles and a division of General Motors, just raised $1.15 billion in fresh funding from a cohort of institutional and corporate investors.

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The financing sets a post-money valuation of around $19 billion for the San Francisco-based company, “inclusive of SoftBank Vision Fund’s previously announced investment commitment,” Cruise said in a press release issued this morning.

The money came from a group consisting of institutional investors, including funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates and existing backers General Motors, SoftBank Vision Fund and Honda, according to Cruise.

The latest financing brings the company’s total raised since inception to $7.25 billion, it said. In May 2018, SoftBank and GM led a $3.4 billion round that gave the company a post-money valuation of $12.7 billion, according to its Crunchbase profile.

“Developing and deploying self-driving vehicles at massive scale is the engineering challenge of our generation,” said Cruise CEO Dan Ammann, in the press release. “Having deep resources to draw on as we pursue our mission is a critical competitive advantage.”

Besides its San Francisco headquarters, Cruise has offices in Seattle, Pasadena, and Phoenix. Its mission is to build “the world’s most advanced self-driving, all electric vehicles.” GM acquired the six-year-old company, formerly known as Cruise Automation, for $1 billion in 2016. We reached out to the company for more details and will update the story when we have them.

In general, the self-driving space is heating up. Interestingly, SoftBank is funding more than one related initiative. Last month, we reported on how Uber confirmed that its cash-burning self-driving unit received a $1 billion investment from auto giant Toyota Motor, Japanese automotive components manufacturer Denso Corp., and the SoftBank Vision Fund. As part of that, Uber said it would spin out the unit into a newly-formed advanced technologies “entity” focused on “the development and commercialization” of automated ride-hailing services.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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