GM scores $1.15B Cruise investment for self-driving effort

Institutional investors poured $1.15 billion into General Motors’ self-driving vehicle effort, the latest funding announcement from the carmaker as it seeks to try to launch an autonomous taxi offering in 2019.

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The investment into Cruise, which was acquired by GM in 2016, was led by T. Rowe Price Associates Inc., and included funding from existing partners SoftBank Vision Fund and Honda, putting the valuation for GM's subsidiary at $19 billion, the company said in a statement.

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

Overall in the past year, Cruise has drawn $7.25 billion in funding, including money from GM, a $750 million direct investment from Honda and a $2.25 billion investment from Japan’s SoftBank -- giving it a 20 percent stake in the firm.

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GM CEO Mary Barra previously declined to give a timeline of when the Detroit-based company would unveil its self-driving service to compete with Google’s Waymo, which started commercial drives of its autonomous vehicles in the Phoenix suburbs late last year.

"We expect to maintain the leadership position we are in now," she told investors recently.


GM’s Cruise lost $169 million in the three months through March.