GM's Cruise gets $1.15 billion new cash from T. Rowe Price, SoftBank


The new investment, which brings the driverless vehicle operation's post-money valuation to $19 billion, was led by funds advised by T. Rowe Price Group Inc., and existing Cruise partners SoftBank Vision Fund and Honda Motor Co.

The new round is $1.15 billion, and it comes from a group of institutional investors: GM, Japan's SoftBank Vision Fund, and Honda.

"Developing and deploying self-driving vehicles at massive scale is the engineering challenge of our generation", Ammann said in a statement.

Cruise says it has raised $7.25 billion in capital in the past year. Like the SoftBank investment, Honda's $2.75 billion has also been split into two parts, with the first tranche of $750 million being given in October for the equity stake, and the remaining $2 billion to be given over 12 years in development work and fees.

Cruise lost US$728 million last year, and GM expects the tab to be about US$1 billion this year, the company said in January. The automaker is spending about US$1 billion a year on Cruise.

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GM acquired Cruise (then called Cruise Automation) in 2016, for an all-in price of $1 billion. Cruise Automation is a self-driving auto company that develops an autopilot system for existing cars.

"Having deep resources to draw on as we pursue our mission is a critical competitive advantage". So at that time the company would have been worth just over $11 billion.

In 2018, GM President Dan Ammann moved over to Cruise as its CEO, while co-founded Kyle Vogt shifted to a CTO role to guide the company's expansion. And to hit that mark, Cruise is looking to double in size by hiring about 1,000 of the course of 2019, according to a recent report by Reuters. GM wants to start an autonomous ride-hailing service at the end of this year and needs cash to bring along the technology and build out an infrastructure for that kind of business.

Cruise is recognized as to deploy autonomous vehicles without private backup drivers. this calendar year, it has pledged to do that in an unspecified city, but has backed away, saying as it could be done 31, the deployment would come.