GM’s Cruise Closes $2 Billion Funding Round Led by Microsoft

General Motors acquired the San Francisco-based self-driving startup in March 2016. Since then, GM has allowed Cruise to remain responsible for both technology and commercialization of its self driving efforts, giving Cruise independence in order to avoid the pitfalls common when a large company acquires a technology startup.

In April 2017, GM announced plans to invest $14 million to expand Cruise operations in California and has been investing into the company ever since, furthering its self-driving efforts. However, GM never stopped taking outside investments for the San Francisco-based self-driving startup.

The company received $750 million from Honda in 2018, followed by a huge $1.15 billion investment also from Honda, as well as institutional investors in 2019. Even more recently, GM Cruise began testing its truly driverless Chevy Bolt EVs in the Golden State after receiving the go ahead from the California DMV in October.

Now, GM Cruise managed another $2 billion investment round led by Microsoft: “Microsoft will join General Motors, Honda and institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing the post-money valuation of Cruise to $30 billion.”

Dan Ammann, Cruise CEO said about the announcement: “Our mission to bring safer, better and more affordable transportation to everyone isn’t just a tech race – it’s also a trust race. Microsoft, as the gold standard in the trustworthy democratization of technology, will be a force multiplier for us as we commercialize our fleet of self-driving, all-electric, shared vehicles.”

Microsoft will also become Cruise and GM’s “preferred cloud service provider” in addition to its investment. According to Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft: “Advances in digital technology are redefining every aspect of our work and life, including how we move people and goods. As Cruise and GM’s preferred cloud, we will apply the power of Azure to help them scale and make autonomous transportation mainstream.”

As far as GM CEO Mary Barra is concerned, the Microsoft partnership will “accelerate the commercialization of Cruise’s all-electric, self-driving vehicles.”

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