GM Cruise Holdings LLC, the autonomous driving wing of General Motors, has received more than $3 billion in funding from its parent company as well as the SoftBank Vision Fund.
Softbank will invest $2.25 billion in GM Cruise with an additional $1.1 billion coming from GM in order to further strengthen and commercialize the self-driving technology on a large scale.
More than two years ago, GM bought Cruise Automation in order to develop self-driving cars that at the time they said would be used for a ride-sharing fleet across the U.S. About a year later, GM said it was expanding Cruise by adding about 1,100 employees and investing $14 million in future technology development. The team has been progressing as just this year GM said it would build production versions of Cruise’s autonomous vehicles with the plan to bring them to commercialization in 2019.
GM Cruise is building a fully integrated hardware and software stack and the investment is to work toward deploying the technology safely and in massive scale.
The SoftBank investment will be deployed in two phases. The first phase will be to the order of $900 million and when Cruise autonomous vehicles are ready for commercial deployment, SoftBank will complete the second phase of investment of $1.35 billion. This funding will give SoftBank Vision Fund about 19.6 percent equity stake in GM Cruise.
GM Cruise said the investments from both companies are expected to provide the capital necessary to reach commercialization at scale beginning in 2019.