General Motors' Cruise Automation announced Tuesday it raised another $1.15 billion in its latest investment round, bringing the firm's valuation to around $19 billion.
Those who contributed to fund GM's self-driving car efforts further include GM itself, the SoftBank Vision Fund, and Honda. The latter two previously committed substantial amounts of money to Cruise. Japan's SoftBank Vision Fund announced a $2.25 billion investment last May; Honda said in October it would partner with GM to build a purpose-built self-driving car and invest $2.75 billion over the next 12 years. Of Honda's initial investment, $750 million represented an equity stake.
GM to acquire San Francisco-based Cruise Automation
"Having deep resources to draw on as we pursue our mission is a critical competitive advantage," Cruise CEO Dan Ammann, who took over the subsidiary from Cruise co-founder Kyle Vogt earlier this year, said in a statement. In other words: self-driving cars are expensive.
The nearly endless number of investments have reaped few rewards from self-driving cars but promise the world when the technology finally arrives. Automakers, technology companies, and businesses all may benefit from self-driving cars as they change the way people move. Unlike some of its rivals, Cruise has not backed down on the idea of overestimating the arrival of self-driving cars. GM previously committed to commercializing self-driving cars this year, though there has been little information on a commercial service thus far.
Chevrolet Bolt EV Cruise Automation test mule in San Francisco
With the latest round of investment closed, Cruise added the company has raised $7.25 billion in the past year. Expect that number to grow as more investors seek a piece of the self-driving car pie.
Other leading rivals in the self-driving space include Uber's Advanced Technologies Group (also includes SoftBank as a primary investor), Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo, Aurora Innovation, Argo AI, plus automakers BMW Group, Daimler, Ford, Tesla, Toyota and the Volkswagen Group.