General Motors-owned Cruise Automation has received a healthy new investment, courtesy of SoftBank Vision. GM and the firm announced on Thursday a $2.25 billion investment to strengthen the company’s self-driving car development.
Following the deal’s closure, GM itself plans to invest another $1.1 billion.
“Our Cruise and GM teams together have made tremendous progress over the last two years,” said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “Teaming up with SoftBank adds an additional strong partner as we pursue our vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion.”
SoftBank’s investment will come in two waves: the firm will first invest $900 million upfront as Cruise Automation continues its work on developing its self-driving car platform and the 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV-based Cruise AV. The second wave of funds will come when Cruise is prepared to the self-driving cars for commercial deployment. Then, the firm will release the remaining $1.35 billion.
With the $2.25 billion investment, SoftBank will own a 19.6 percent stake in Cruise.
GM and Cruise have continuously worked to reach a self-imposed goal to bring self-driving cars to market at a commercial scale in 2019. It’s unclear where the companies plan to launch the autonomous vehicles to start. Meanwhile, rival Waymo has plans to being its first robo-taxi service sometime this year.
With the latest investment, GM Cruise is now valued at $11.5 billion.